■ Pete’s reflections–pg 3 ■ Access Press history–pp 4-5 ■ Chrestomathy turns 25–pg 7
“With confidence, you have won before you have started.” – Marcus Garvey
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Volume 21, Number 6
June 10, 2010
A century later, state is sorry by Access Press staff After more than a century of public policy that took disabled Minnesotans away from their families and home communities, and subjected them far too often to cruel treatment, state officials have made an apology. May 26 marked the official end of the long quest to have Minnesota lawmakers apologize for the past treatment of people with disabilities. House File 1680 and Senate Fill 1135 passed unanimously before the 2010 Minnesota Legislature adjourned May 17. Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed the apology into law May 26. The action was hailed by disability rights advocates and family members whose loved ones spent most, if not all of their lives in state institutions. The legislation has been sought for many years as part of the work of the Remembering With Dignity project, which is part of Advocating Change Together (ACT). Remembering With Dignity
(RWD) has marked 7,300 of 13,000 numbered grave markers at now-closed Minnesota state institutions. The project is continuing to place headstones with former residents’ names, birth and death dates on what have been anonymous graves. Passage of the apology legislation is seen as providing a key impetus to continue this work. ACT and RWD shaft were pleased with the state action. In a statement, the two organizations said, “For most of the 20th century, persons with mental illness, developmental disabilities and other disabilities were institutionalized in Minnesota; their treatment was often less than humane and frequently very cruel.” Sen. John Marty, DFLRoseville, authored the legislation in the Senate. Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, was the House author. Marty said that after 13 years of pushing for its passage, it is Apology - cont. on p. 10
Good sports Kids are enjoying a new scoreboard at West Metro Miracle League’s field at Bennett Park in Bloomington. The Daktronics scoreboard is a first in Minnesota. Read about the new scoreboard, the league and other Minnesota young people and sports on page 8. Photo courtesy of Stephen McKean
Legislative session brings mixed results for community by Access Press staff For Minnesota’s disability community, the 2010 legislative session may be remembered, like so many others, as one which there could have been much worse consequences. As it turned out, most existing services were spared but few gains were made as the Minnesota Legislature adjourned May 17. Leaders of statewide disability organizations and self-advocates are already planning for 2011 and what promises to be an extremely difficult and challenging budget session. The 2010 session adjourned following a brief special session that extended into the day May 17. Gov. Tim Pawlenty and House and Senate leaders worked to plug a $3 billion
budget hole. The hole grew wider this spring after the Minnesota Supreme Court found that unallotments Pawlenty made to balance the state budget last year were unconstitutional. The budget actions taken by state lawmakers and signed into law by the governor ratified the unallotments. But solutions chosen to fill the gap will come back to haunt the next governor and future House and Senate members. About $2 billion of the $3 billion deficit was eliminated by delaying state payments to school districts. No source was identified to repay that in the future although the state is required to pay that money back in the budget cycle that begins in July 2011.
Also, no final resolution is in place on a proposal that would allow early Medical Assistance/Medicaid enrollment. That will have to be decided by the next governor, as Pawlenty isn’t seeking re-election. A decision needs to be made by mid-January for the state to qualify for matching federal funding. Disability advocates and members of the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MnCCD) were pleased that there were no rate cuts for providers of some disability services, including waivered services, day programs, and personal care attendants (PCAs). The 2009 rate cuts for physical, occupational, and speech therapies
were partially restored. Pawlenty had proposed eliminating rehabilitation therapies for those on Medical Assistance (MA) but that didn’t happen. General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) The session began with a high-profile clash to save General Assistance Medical Care, a program which provides health care for many of the state’s poorest and sickest residents. More than 30,000 single adults and childless couples were covered. It was proposed that GAMC recipients move to MinnesotaCare, but the move would most likely have depleted MinnesotaCare’s resources. GAMC was to end
March 1, then April 1, as lawmakers scrambled to find a compromise program to cover at least some clients. Pawlenty vetoed the first GAMC compromise bill in February, criticizing its potential costs to the state. After long hours of discussion, another “bare bones” version of GAMC bill was brought forward and approved before the session ended. The program is taking a 75 percent funding cut, which means many who were covered may not receive help any more. At the eleventh hour, an additional $10 million went into the program. Larger hospitals have been asked to join a coordinated care delivery system—meaning the hospi-
tals would get a lump sum of money to care for a certain number of GAMC patients. That still may not be enough incentives for hospitals to opt in. Only four Twin Cities area hospitals have signed up, with no outstate hospitals opting in. The Minnesota Hospital Association has expressed disappointment with the legislation passed; saying it only passes on more patient care costs to hospitals and creates risks for hospitals. In an interview with Minnesota Public Radio, Sue Abderholden, executive director the Minnesota chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said her organization works with mental health criMixed results - cont. on p. 10
June 10, 2010
Tim Benjamin, Editor I hope everyone is having a fine summer. Even though the solstice isn’t here yet, we’ve had a great early time of it in May. We can look forward to several more months of outdoor fun. For
most people with disabilities, summer is a much easier time of year to be out of doors. I like being outside with my wife and our five-year-old German Shepherd dog who is afraid of his own shadow (as well as most people and other dogs). He loves to chase and retrieve a ball, even if it’s thrown into the middle of a lake. So besides a fabulous barbecue dinner on Memorial Day we took Feivel for a refreshing and funfilled swim in Como Lake. I didn’t roll too close to the shoreline. Not to rush right into fall, but don’t forget that November 5, 2010 is the Charlie Smith awards banquet. Do two things now: mark your calendar, and send in your nominations for an awardee. We will be doing a silent auction and raffle again, so if you have something you’d like to donate, please get in touch with us. The award banquet will be at
the Airport Marriott in Bloomington again, except this year we hope to add another banquet room for all the terrific people who turn out. The ‘Apology bill’ that passed in this year’s legislative session is the big news this month. This is truly important legislation, and many of the fears that legislators had about lawsuits will not be borne out. I do hope that this legislation will set a precedent for further actions on behalf of people with disabilities. We have to make sure that our state is held to the letter of law in this legislation; in it the state makes a commitment to continue to provide assistance to people with disabilities in the future. Remembering with Dignity (RWD) is the organization that has been marking with true headstones—rather than spikes with numbers—the graves of Minnesotans who were institutionalized at death.
RWD had an event over Memorial day weekend in St. Paul, explaining the procedure of identifying who was buried under a numbered spike. I participated in a mock demonstration of how the process worked. The numbered spikes were hidden in the park and we found spike #162. Spike #162 was a child born in 1954, a twin. We first associated the number with a name, then we checked the name with the birth certificate and death certificate. ”Kevin” died in 1958, at four years old, of pneumonia. The family could not afford to keep their child at home, given his extra needs, and his death devastated the family. Kevin’s father worked full-time at the Hormel plant to support the others in the family. RWD volunteers and staff had been in contact with Kevin’s twin sister, who remembered the family going to St. Peter’s to see Kevin, often
taking him on day trips. They’d also bring him home for long weekends. In fact, two weeks before his death he had been on an outing with his family. Kevin’s mother lived with the guilt of having to give up her child, but also the worry that having taken their child outdoors on a cold day may have caused his death. This is something that no one should ever have to live with. There are so many other individuals who were mistreated, and so many sad and even horrific stories. One of them is told in our history note this month. Please note that this month’s story is one that needs to be told, but it is disturbing and may not be appropriate for some readers. In earlier times, many treatments that were considered to be the ”best for the person” would be considered barbaric today. In fact, people would be jailed now for abuse if they
provided the kind of “care” that was common just 50 years ago. It’s tough to make sense of it all, and I struggle with it. We’ve still got a long way to go to reach fully humane care. Our good friend Pete Feigal is back and writing for us regularly. This month, with humor and Feigal style, he wrote an explorative reflection of a crisis that took place just a few years back. We have an expanded version on our Web site and the condensed version here in the June issue. I look forward to working with Pete again and reading his wonderful reflections on his life’s journeys. I’m sure that longtime Access Press readers will join me in welcoming him back, and new readers will enjoy getting to know this talented writer. Remember: get outdoors, and stay safe out there! ■
Treatment of men was unspeakably cruel, painful by Luther Granquist Editor’s note: The topic of this month’s History Note, while important in the context of past treatment of people with disabilities in state institutions, may be offensive to some readers. Dr. Samuel Shantz, the first superintendent of Minnesota’s Hospital for the Insane at St. Peter, thanked God in his report to the Board of Trustees in 1867 for permitting them “to inaugurate this great charity.” The Board itself reported to the Governor that the hospital would “stand as the noblest evidence of an advancing Christian civilization.” For some persons who went there, this new institution was indeed an asylum, a place of refuge. For others, however, the treatment Shantz and his successors provided was cruel indeed.
Shantz believed that masturbation caused insanity. He called it a “vicious habit” in notes he recorded in 1867 and 1868. Other physicians of that era agreed. One even wrote that the habit of masturbation was “the destroying element of civilized society.” Within the confines of the asylum, Shantz and the physicians who followed him adopted methods to treat or to prevent masturbation that do not reflect a civilized society. Blistering was one. Dr. James Bowers made this entry on March 1, 1870 in the hospital record for a man from Wright County: “No treatment is adopted except keeping him blistered which seems the only means to keep him quiet.” A 16-year-old boy from Wabasha County “was caught masturbating for which he was blis-
tered.” The physician ordered the staff to “keep him sore.” Those records do not specify what was used to cause blistering, but medical texts of that era mention applying a vinegar-like substance called acetum lyttae under the foreskin or using a hot iron. Some doctors questioned the effectiveness of these methods because “the itching which follows them tends to aggravate the evil.” St. Peter records from 1884 show that the physicians there also used another method. In June 1884, a St. Peter physician “wired” the foreskin of an 18-year-old for masturbating. Earlier that year the same physician made this note in the record of a man from Minneapolis: “Known to masturbate. Put in a wire today much to his chagrin.”
Access Press Co-Founder/Publisher (1990-1996) .................................................. Wm. A. Smith, Jr. Co-Founder/Publisher/Editor-in-Chief (1990-2001) ....................... Charles F. Smith Board of Directors .............................. Brigid Alseth, Mike Chevrette, Kelly Matter, Anita Schermer, Carrie Selberg, Tom Squire and Kay Willshire Editor ......................................................................................................... Tim Benjamin Assistant Editor ......................................................................................... Jane McClure Business Manager/Webmaster ............................................................ Dawn Frederick Cartoonist ..................................................................................................... Scott Adams Production ...................................................... Ellen Houghton at Presentation Images Distribution ......................................................................................... S. C. Distribution Advertising Sales Manager ................................................................... Raymond Yates Access Press is a monthly tabloid newspaper published for persons with disabilities by Access Press, Ltd. Circulation is 10,000, distributed the 10th of each month through more than 200 locations statewide. Approximately 650 copies are mailed directly to individuals, including political, business, institutional and civic leaders. Subscriptions are available for $30/yr. Low-income, student and bulk subscriptions are available at discounted rates. Editorial submissions and news releases on topics of interest to persons with disabilities, or persons serving those with disabilities, are welcomed. We reserve the right to edit all submissions. Editorial material does not necessarily reflect the view of the editor/publisher of Access Press. Paid advertising is available at rates ranging from $12 to $28 per column inch, depending on size and frequency of run. Classified ads are $14, plus 65 cents per word over 12 words. Advertising and editorial deadlines are the last day of the month preceding publication, except for employment ads, which are due by the 25th. Inquiries should be directed to: Access Press • 1821 University Ave. W. • Suite 104S St. Paul, Minnesota 55104 • 651-644-2133 • Fax 651-644-2136 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Web site: www.accesspress.org
A young man transferred to St. Peter from the new School for the Feebleminded at Faribault “had a ring inserted” because he masturbated. The St. Peter records do not describe how these men were wired, but an 1879 Manual of Psychological Medicine describes the “ingenious” plan of a Dr. Yellowlees of the Glasgow Royal Asylum who “rings the prepuce with silver wire, as the snouts of swine are wired to prevent their routing.” The 1879 Manual suggested that providing these men a lot of exercise to tire them out could also be an effective strategy, yet both the text writers and the St. Peter staff approved of intentional infliction of pain by blistering and wiring men and boys they frequently termed “disgusting.” That term more aptly describes the treatment they administered. ■
Above map courtesy of www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ The History Note is a monthly cil on Developmental Disabili~asylums/stpeter_mn/ column sponsored by the ties, www.mncdd.org and www. index.html Minnesota Governor's Coun- partnersinpolicymaking.com
June 10, 2010
The daring adventures of Guacamole, teddy bear extraordinaire by Pete Feigal I live with a bear. He’s not just any bear. He’s about ten inches tall, gray, plush, stuffed with cotton and love. He is truly a magic bear. EVERYONE who meets him falls instantly in love with him. His name is Guacamole (“Gwok” for short, but not for long), and he came into her life when she was three, so now he’s 32 years young (she called him “Guacamole” because that’s the biggest word she could say at three.) Most people, at first glance, don’t know what he is. They often think he is a mouse. Gwok doesn’t mind. He has brown mouse-like ears and brown pads on his back paws. He has big white plastic eyes. Over the years the paint has been loved off, so he’s had blue, green, brown, purple and every color of the rainbow as his eye color (Whatever marker was at hand.) He has a hunched back like Quasimodo, but it only makes him more lovable, more endearing. He is the companion of my partner, Melanie. He’s been her friend, advisor, mentor, and comfort. To my great fortune, they have chosen me to be their companion, too. Gwok is famous in the “Bear Community.” His oldest friend is wise old Pooh Bear, and one of the ways I won myself into their hearts was by reading Pooh’s adventures to them. As a leader of the “Bears,” Gwok has his favorites and not so favorites. Like “Snuggle,” the animatronic bear who shamelessly hawks fabric softener. Gwok thinks he’s a poser, but he’s too much of a gentleman ever to say so. Gwok loves meeting new people and the occasional squirrel or rabbit. From his point of view, every living creature is HIS SPECIES!! Gwok loves to travel and has never left Melanie’s side, 24/7 in 32 years except once, when Melanie was working with some special needs folks. One woman took a fancy to Gwok (as is natural), and bearnapped him for three days. Melanie, frantic yet patient, made an impassioned plea to whoever had taken her best friend to return him, no questions asked. Gwok showed up early the next day, and Melanie breathed the biggest sigh of relief of her life. Melanie had the proverbial evil stepfather. He was an alcoholic, suffered with untreated bipolar disorder. He
was a pedophile, a real fiend. He began sexually abusing Melanie before she was in kindergarten. She carries the scars, emotionally and physically, to this day. The damage he did to her even took away her ability ever to have a child. But she had Gwok, her champion who never left her. She bathed him with her tears nightly. Even at age five, she never saw herself as a victim. She was a survivor and had the incredible insight to know that if he was hurting her, maybe it was somehow saving her brothers or some other young girl. With Gwok’s wise help and unconditional love, she made it through those years of torture. Melanie would share with Gwok her most secret dreams, her secret fears, her secret hopes. To escape the world she lived in she would make up adventures for him. She would even make little clothes to get him more in character on his “travels.” Melanie would even draw Gwok in “snapshots” of all the wonderful places he traveled. She’s kept them to this day, and they are so beautiful and so full of detail, insightful beyond her years-Gwok in a little
beret and stripped shirt next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. As an orator in ancient Greece wearing the most stylish of washcloth togas, posing questions that could cross Aristotle’s eyes. Gwok helping Madam Currie in her lab (he’s the one cowering behind the lead shield away from the glowing rock. His Momma didn’t raise no fool!). Posing for the Mona Lisa with Leonardo dangling a tiny stuffed alligator tied to a stick in front of him and screaming,” BIGGER SMILE!!! Look at the Alligator!! FUNNY, YES??!! While Gwok simply gives him that famous enigmatic smile that says, “I have seen the years.” Gwok on the moon, peering through his suit’s great golden face shield, “One small paw for Bears, one giant paw print for Bear-kind!” while the blue, blue Earth turns in its sphere. One of Gwok caring for his dear depressed friend Vincent, bringing in fresh picked sunflowers while Vincent, leans up from his bed with a gleam in his eye and his fingers reaching for his paints Now, 32 years later, Melanie and Gwok travel the world again, this time together, speaking to wounded children in Central America, the Middle
In recovery and enjoying life!
Melanie and Gwok on a retreat East and all over the United States. They visit children in schools, in prisons, juvenile detentions, workhouses, in gangs, on the reservations and in the toughest sections of the toughest cities. She speaks to thousands of troubled kids a year. She tells them, when they come to her in tears, in despair, feeling broken, toxic, like damaged goods, unlovable, unwanted, abused, forgotten, that they are NOT alone. They have received insights into the human condition far beyond their years. They’ve paid a terrible price for those wisdoms, wisdoms
NO ONE should have to pay for with their hearts, minds, blood and bones. Melanie also tells them if they can make it through this hard time, and nothing will be harder, they potentially have a map through Hell, a map that MAY help other wounded ones find the way through their own Hell. What an incredible gift that is! Because now everything is simple. Their job from this day forward is to try to make the world just a little bit better for whoever crosses their path each day. That is it, simply to provide a smile, a kind word, an ear to listen or a
hand to hold. The pain, humiliation, fear and loneliness was not a gift, but they are not lost, the real heart and soul of them, the BEST of them is sealed in a golden box deep within their hearts, and what they have to do is find the courage to lay their burdens down and to open that wonderful box that contains all their hopes and dreams and happiness. And start to live their lives again. Last year Melanie slipped into a terrible life-threatening depression. Soon she became paranoid, desperate and psyQuacamole - cont. on p. 14
June 10, 2010
The story of us continues:
20 years of disability news coverage remembered As covered by Access Press Compiled by Jane McClure thanks to a change in state law. Minnesota sent a delegation to the second International Very Special Arts Festival, which was held in Brussels. The VSA-MN delegation included organization Executive Director Craig Dunn and artists Gene Chelberg (sculptor), Jane Gerus (painter), and Open June 1994 Door Theater troupe members The Minnesota State Coun- Brian Shaughnessy, Shawn cil on Disability was at odds Needham, Joy Mincey Powell, with the Minnesota Depart- Kirk Mattson and Jaehn Clare. ment of Public Safety. Public safety officials routinely sold August 1994 lists of information, including Metro Mobility continued lists of persons who had ob- to face problems, especially tained disability parking cer- with trips from area to area. tificates or license plates. The One service provider in parstate council objected, con- ticular was also the focus of tending that many listed are complaints, for long rides, late vulnerable adults. The fear was pick-ups and rude drivers. Ridthat scam artists could easily ers also reported difficulty in use the lists to find victims. booking rides at the needed Disability community mem- times. Riders were urged to bers had recently been con- call Metro Mobility so probtacted by out-of-state compa- lems could be documented. nies selling medical equipment Plans were underway for and insurance. Disability Pride ’94, an alterThe Minnesota Head Injury native Labor Day event to be Association was challenging held in St. Paul’s Highland U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger. Park and televised regionally. The senator was trying to re- The event was meant to counter peal helmet and safety provi- the annual Jerry Lewis Telesions in federal transportation thon for the Muscular Dystrolegislation. He angered local phy Association, which many activists by using their infor- community members critimation to claim that public cized for its depictions of education is more important people with disabilities as objects of pity. The local Labor than federal mandates. Day event would include performances, information about July 1994 The Minnesota Health disability culture and pride, Commission, created as part and information about organiof MinnesotaCare, had two zations. new members. The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens September 1994 with Disabilities chose Jeff More than 40 Minnesota selfBangsberg to represent them advocates attended the Nawith Tom Brick as the alter- tional Conference on Selfnate. The Mental Health As- Advocacy in Alexandria, Virsociation and Americans for ginia. They were part of a Recovery chose Bill Conley group of more than 1,000 as representative with Bruce people interested in learning Nelson as alternate. This was about other’s self-advocacy the first time the disability efforts and in forming a nacommunity had direct legis- tional self-advocacy organizalation on the commission, tion. Gloria Steinbring from Editor’s note: Access Press is celebrating its 20th anniversary of providing news and information to Minnesota’s disability and aging communities. The first four years of our timeline appeared in the May 2010 issue. The entire timeline is online at www. access press.org
Advocating Change Together and Diane Jellison from People First Central were elected to that organization. Courage Center hosted the annual disability rights conference, Know Your Rights. Keynote speaker was Ed Roberts, president of the World Institute on Disability. Several disability community organizations were event cosponsors. Scott Hallonbeck and Jean Driscoll broke national men’s and women’s records in the Kaiser Roll in Bloomington. The 8k wheelchair race had been held annually since 1981, with 15,000 in attendance this year.
October 1994 Major changes were proposed in Medical Assistance Rules, related to medical equipment and supplies. Prosthetics and orthotics would also face new regulations. A number of new regulations were proposed. Disability community advocates worried that the proposals would make it difficult if not impossible for people to obtain needed equipment and supplies. “When Billy Broke His Head . . . and Other Tales of Wonder” opened to a standing-room-only crowd at the Walker Art Center. The story of Billy Golfus and his life after an accident and head injury drew rave reviews for its frank approach to disability and the barriers people with disability face. Producers Golfus and David Simpson wanted to have the film shown on national television. Funding was sought to more widely distribute the film.
November 1994 Metropolitan Council took over operations of Metro Mobility, raising more questions about the transportation provider’s future. John Walsh, executive director of Metro-
politan Center for Independent Living, addressed the council’s Transportation Committee to outline ongoing concerns about Metro Mobility and ways service could be improved. Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) rule changes were still being debated. Objections to the proposed changes, which would affect medical equipment and supplies, prosthetics and orthotics had resulted in a delay. DHS was convening small group meetings to discuss the proposed changes after hearing from many concerned community members. DHS was also reconsidering restrictions on eyeglasses and vision care. Independence Crossroads announced two new support groups, for adults with disabilities and for children with disabled family members.
December 1994 Pending 1995 legislative proposals were reviewed. A cost of living increase was requested for personal care attendants (PCAs). PCAs had seen one 3 percent increase in five years. Increases of 4 percent were proposed for 1995 and 1996. Full funding for Metro Transit and statewide paratransit services was sought. Metro Transit’s funding crunch meant the program was near capacity, and fare increases and service cuts loomed. Support programs were also being sought for parents with developmental disabilities. Increased funding and housing for mentally ill Minnesotans and health care reform were other issues state lawmakers would consider. Tom Botzet, a special education student at Columbia Heights High School, was chosen to represent Minnesota at an Austrian celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the
nation’s liberation during —including the ADA. That World War II. provision had been eliminated thanks to the hard work of disJanuary 1995 ability rights advocates. Nationally recognized disArc Ramsey County opened ability advocate Justin Dart a toy and adaptive equipment sounded the alarm about po- lending library, with games, tential threats to the Ameri- toys, cognitive and adaptive cans with Disabilities Act equipment available. (ADA) and other disability programs. Minnesota groups March 1995 quickly mobilized to meet with Governor in Wonderland members of Congress. The was the front page headline, proposed Contract with above an article describing America, a Republican initia- Carlson’s proposed budget tive, would have a destructive cuts. The PCA cuts were preeffect on laws meant to protect sented as part of a proposal to and ensure equal opportunity restructure the program, raisfor people with disabilities. ing red flags for the commuRepublicans around the coun- nity. DHS suggested reinvesttry were calling for elimina- ing the PCA savings in other tion of the ADA, calling it a waiver programs but commucostly unfunded mandated. nity activists were skeptical. Medicaid and the Individual Community members were Disability Education Act were urged to pack upcoming ralalso under fire. lies and legislative hearings to The Metro Mobility lawsuit make their objections heard. settlement was approved, with Another fear was the proriders sharing $680,000 in cash posed elimination of aid to and $155,000 worth of free children with disabilities, ride coupons. An additional which was provided through $45,000 in free rider coupons TEFRA Medical Assistance. were distributed earlier. Rid- Almost 4,000 families would ers were compensated for lost be affected. The cut would wages, payment for alterna- have mixed effects on chiltive transportation and other dren and families. Some called for moving children and famicosts. lies to other programs, but children with mental health diagFebruary 1995 Gov. Arne Carlson proposed noses had no alternative a 25 percent cut to PCA ser- waived services program availvices, as part of his state bud- able. get proposal. The governor’s proposal threatened to roll April 1995 back PCA service gains made Protests against pending in recent years. Advocates ar- state budget cuts at the capitol gued the cuts were unrealistic, included a sit-in in the given the recents moves to governor’s foyer. Approxideinstitutionalization and the mately 30 people, including growing population with dis- 20 using wheelchairs, said they abilities. wouldn’t leave until Carlson In Congress, a bill to elimi- met with them. Carlson’s staff nate unfunded federal man- said he wasn’t available but dates was being debated. In a the group stayed and security guest column U.S. Sen. Paul was called. Some left the foyer Wellstone explained that the but seven others stayed and bill’s intent to limit unfunded were detained by security and mandates on state and local Minnesota State Highway Pagovernment wouldn’t affect trol. The seven, including Acanti-discrimination programs 20 years - cont. on p. 5
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June 10, 2010
20 YEARS -
Cont. from p. 4
cess Press Editor Charlie Smith, were arrested for disorderly conduct. But after other news media arrived the officers stepped back, saying they weren’t actually arresting the seven and would only ticket them for trespassing. Group members said they were willing to go to jail but that there was no way to transport so many people in wheelchairs for processing and booking.
May 1995 Debate continued at the capitol over programs for people with disabilities, with most attention focused on proposed PCA cuts and cuts to children with disabilities and their families. The latest proposals raised the possibility of delaying the PCA cuts and set up a home care task force to look at ways to reduce spending. The number of children and families affected by TEFRA cuts was reduced to 1,600. Alternative care for the affected children was being sought. What angered many disability activists was that while the state was proposed to slash human services programs, lawmakers were also working to bring professional hockey back to Minnesota Minnesota faith-based organizations were working together to create a brochure to allow everyone to participate in each denomination’s activities.
online disability network would remain in Andover. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole called for a “retooling” of the ADA. Dole, who supported the act, said that “maybe we’ve gone too far in some areas” of implementation. Community members were urged to contact Dole with their concerns.
August 1995 A national survey showed that 70 percent of business leaders believed the ADA should not be changed. By an 82 to 5 percent margin, those surveyed also said the opportunities provided by the ADA are worth its costs of implementation. The survey generally had a favorable response to hiring of persons with disabilities. It was released by the National Organization on Disability (NOD). More than 400 people attended a legislative public hearing to air concerns about Metro Mobility. State Rep. Dee Long told the group that metro area legislators weren’t in agreement as to how to improve the service, but agreed with the demand for long-term support for paratransit. The Twin Cities’ first aphasia support group marked its 25th anniversary. The group, based at Sister Kenny Institute, helped people affected by the speech and language disorder.
Medicare and Medicaid cuts at the federal level, working with Minnesota’s Congressional delegation to make their voices heard. MCIL, Courage Center, Arc of Hennepin County and many other groups and individuals weighed in. Perfect Squares, a wheelchair square dance group, invited newcomers to join them for the fall season at Courage Center.
November 1995 In his editorial Smith pointed out the very real threats facing the community. If the state home care task force couldn’t reach agreement and if proposed cuts at the federal level
unlimited amount of time. Community members were asking city officials to reevaluate the policy change, which had resulted in fines to unsuspecting motorists.
January 1996 Access Press co-founder Bill Smith Jr. passed away. The entrepreneur and former banker felt strongly that the disability community needed a way to get its message out and make itself heard. In his column, Charlie Smith said he wasn’t sure about the future of the newspaper. “I know my father would want me to continue Access Press and I will try to keep it going,” he wrote.
June 1995 Months after his visit to Minnesota, Justin Dart wrote a guest article explaining how attacks on the ADA had escalated in Congress. Activists had ensured that the unfunded mandates bill didn’t affect services for people with disabilities but other threats loomed in Washington, D.C. The ADA and IDEA were still subjected to attacks in the news media. Dart urged community members to fight back when their rights were being attacked. The 1995 Minnesota Legislature enacted 15 percent cuts to PCA services, effective in July 1996 and cuts to TEFRA that would affect almost 2,000 families. The University Minnesota Disabled Student Cultural Center hosted Lew Golan, author of Reading Between the Lips: A Totally Deaf Man Makes it in the Mainstream.
September 1995 Minnesota CCD and the Minnesota Senior Federation hosted a form on the effects of pending federal cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. The only two members of Congress to attend were U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone and U.S. Rep. Bruce Vento. Many people who testified expressed fear about how the radical changes they would have to make if the programs were cut. Metropolitan Council approved a 30-cent fare increase for Metro Mobility, to help close a $5.7 million budget gap. The one-way fare for rides during peak periods would now be $2.50. But the council also approved a number of incentives to encourage more people with disabilities to ride regular route buses. Decisions on service reductions hadn’t been made yet, although several suburban communities were again targeted for cuts.
July 1995 DRAGnet, which was serving people across the country with its program, was moving to a larger space in downtown Minneapolis. The organization needed space for its computer recycling programs, which provided equipment for people who couldn’t otherwise afford it. Equipment that couldn’t be reused was recycled. The program also provided jobs, equipment and software for people with disabilities and for rehabilitation agencies. Its
October 1995 The DHS Home Care Task Force, formed during the past legislative session, was charged with studying ways to stave off $13 million in pending state budget cuts to PCA services. Concerns were raised that the task force hadn’t started meeting until late summer and lacked enough information to make recommendations to state lawmakers in 1996. Community members continued to focus on possible
took effect, the PCA program in Minnesota would actually be cut by as much as $50 million. This would force many people into nursing homes or into state-run institutions. Courage Center hosted its annual award ceremony. Smith received the Judd Jacobson Memorial Award for people who use computers to enhance entrepreneurial potential. Winners of the Phillips awards were Bob Bardswell of Stewartville, Victoria Carlson of Brooklyn Park, Jimmie Hanson of Minneapolis, Diane Manowksi of ChisagoCenterandMarkMertens of Spicer. The awards honored Minnesotanswithdisabilitieswho achieve career success.
Ways to continue publication, possibly by reorganizing, were considered. A DHS task force set up to examine PCA issues was criticized as a means of simply finding a way to further cut PCA services. The task force did recommend that a cut slated for July 1,996 be repealed, but that was buried in the final report.
stead state lawmakers cut it dramatically. Advocates argued that the information DHS used to justify program cuts and higher fees was flawed. Legislators wanted more time to review information about children impacted by the cuts. About 850 families had opted out of the program already; another 1,645 children were at risk of cuts. Community members rallied at the capitol on a bitterly cold winter day to speak for preserving TEFRA and for minimizing impacts of PCA service cuts. Access Press was in the process of restructuring from a for-profit newspaper to a nonprofit. DRAGnet would serve as fiscal agent.
stored cuts to TEFRA and PCA services. Carlson had indeed vetoed the health and human services omnibus bill but agreed to restore the programs important to the disability community if another unrelated section of the bill was removed. The Senate voted to override the veto of the original bill but an override in the House fell short. Smith said the restoration of the programs was proof that people could make a difference through organizing. Major changes were proposed in the way the Minnesota Department of Economic Security delivered vocational rehabilitation services. Reductions in funding dedicated to serving people with disabilities, eliminating service priority for people with severe disMarch 1996 abilities and removing other As the paper went to press, provisions that served the comGov. Carlson was threatening munity drew protests. to veto the health and human services omnibus bill. The bill May 1996 included language to restore Many changes had been past cuts made to TEFRA and made to the Social Security PCA services. A veto would Administration’s Plan for impact more than 5,000 chil- Achieving Self-Support or dren and adults with disabili- PASS Program. The changes ties. Many would lose all or were seen as making program part of their PCA services. The access more challenging. The threatened bill would have DisAbility Works organizadelayed the cuts until July 1 tion was asking affected per1997. Community members sons and organizations to conrallied to flood the governor’s tact them. office with calls and letters. In Congress, Wellstone was Remembering With Dignity involved in the fight to guarsaw its efforts to get a public anteed parity in insurance covapology stall at the 1996 Leg- erage for the mentally ill. The islature. A bill asking for an Wellstone legislation would be apology to the tens of thou- part of a larger health care sands of Minnesotans with reform bill that was pending in developmental disabilities Congress. who had been treated poorly Access Press published a list in state institutions was with- of Twin Cities parks that are drawn due to lack of support. accessible. These included Hidden Falls/Crosby Farm regional parks in St. Paul and the April 1996 In a last-minute move the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Minnesota Legislature re- Trail in Minneapolis. ■
February 1996 Cuts to TEFRA were delayed by the Minnesota Legislature. TEFRA helps disabled children stay in their homes with support services, Last year Gov. Carlson proposed eliminating the program; in-
December 1995 Minnesota had a projected $824 million surplus in 1996. Disability activists urged that part of the funding be used to restore potential cuts in PCA, TEFRA, Metro Mobility, education and other programs but state lawmakers were resistant. Instead it was proposed to either return the money to taxpayers or create a rainy day fund. A new City of St. Paul parking policy at 15-minute parking meters was hitting persons with disability parking placards or license plates in the pocketbook. The city had announced that any vehicle violating the time limit would face a ticket, in contradiction to state law that allowed vehicles with placards to park for an
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June 10, 2010
Regional news in review . . . Perham facility blamed in death An assisted-living facility in Perham is blamed for giving an elderly resident only over-the-counter painkiller and delaying medical care after she suffered falls on consecutive days that preceded her death. The Thomas House in Perham was cited for negligence in a report by the state Health Department’s Office of Health Facilities Complaints. The report was released in late May. Helen Boedigheimer, 87, suffered from late-stage dementia and was in declining health. She fell June 26 and 28, 2009. She was given Tylenol by facility staff after the second fall. A visit to a doctor the next day revealed she had broken her arm. She was placed in hospice care and died July 1, 2009. Thomas House owner and nurse, Lisa Nelson has defended Boedigheimer’s care in media interviews. She has decided not to appeal the DHS report. The report stated that the facility was negligent because no evaluation by a registered nurse occurred, treatment for Boedigheimer’s pain early on was lacking and family members weren’t notified of the falls in a timely manner. One relatives who came to the facility for a previously scheduled hospice admission meeting July 1 told DHS officials she “could not believe what she found” as Boedigheimer had a broken arm and forehead bump. The relative also told DHS officials she could tell that the elderly woman was dying. Nelson told state officials she had trouble contacting the family member. Nelson has operated Thomas House for eight years after her own mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. [Source: Star Tribune]
Overbilling issues debated A Star Tribune newspaper investigation of personal care attendant firm billing practices has sparked debate in Minnesota’s disability community. The newspaper found more than 20 cases since last summer when the Department of Human Services (DHS) paid agencies in cases where employees claimed to have worked more than 24 hours a day. In one case a PCA who provided care for disabled or ill persons, claimed to have work 32 hours a day for three days in a row. Other cases over the past year, records show, the department also failed to enforce new limits on the number of hours that
caregivers are allowed to work,” the newspaper article stated. “Those caps were imposed to control costs and keep clients safe from overworked caregivers.” A 2009 legislative audit found that some PCA agencies were overbilling or reporting too many hours worked by PCAs. The audit found that the program was “unacceptably vulnerable to fraud and abuse.” The state’s inability to catch obvious cases of overbilling is reviving questions about its capacity to guard against Medicaid fraud. “There is no excuse for that,’’ said Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope, chairwoman of the Legislative Audit Commission, told the Star Tribune.” I would have thought they would be on top of this because the [auditor’s] report caused quite a stir at the time.” Allegations of fraud in personal care assistance have been common around the country. The program accounts for just 10 percent of the state’s total Medicaid spending, but consumes two-thirds of the time devoted to investigating questionable care by DHS, according to the January 2009 audit. “I think we’re all in favor of oversight and strict auditing because the clients really need the service,” said Pamela Hoopes, legal director of the Minnesota Disability Law Center. “If there isn’t good oversight, then it places this really valuable and generally quite cost-effective service in jeopardy because it makes it a target for cuts.” [Source: Star Tribune]
Apply for new absentee ballots Secretary of State Mark Ritchie reminded voters and civic groups that the absentee ballot application form has been updated for 2010 and is available. “The absentee ballot application has been updated for 2010 and is now available,” Ritchie said. “Using this form and completing it correctly will give election officials the information they need to process applications quickly.” The application incorporates legislative changes made this year that were promoted by the secretary of state and local election officials. Ritchie urged civic groups, who distribute these applications as part of their own outreach, to use the updated form and discard any older applications. This year’s primary is Aug. 10, earlier than in previous years. The general election is Nov. 2.
Recent legislation changed the application by requiring additional information from voters. For instance, voters must provide on their applications their dates of birth and ID numbers or indicate that they do not have a Minnesota driver’s license number, a Minnesota state ID number, or the last four digits of their Social Security Number. Voters must also sign an oath under penalty of perjury confirming that they personally completed their own applications and did so truthfully. Absentee ballots become available beginning June 25 for the state primary and September 17 for the general election. To download the absentee ballot application, visit the secretary of state’s Web site at: www.sos.state.mn.us, or contact your county auditor directly. A listing of county election officials is available at: https://minnesota.overseasvotefoundation. org/overseas/eod.htm [Source: Secretary of State]
Help older Minnesotans stay home The Minnesota Department of Human Services has awarded grants totaling $1.6 million for three years to two Minnesota projects to help older adults stay in their own homes. Recipients are Carondelet Village, St. Paul, a consortium of Presbyterian Homes and Services and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet; and a consortium that includes: White Community Hospital, Aurora; Pine County Medical Center, Sandstone; Virginia Regional Medical Center, Virginia; St. Michael’s Health and Rehabilitation Center, Virginia; and St. Raphael’s Health and Rehabilitation Center, Eveleth. “The projects will increase the development and coordination of community-based services to fill in gaps identified in communities,” said Loren Colman, assistant commissioner, DHS Continuing Care Administration. The 2008 Minnesota Legislature created the Community Consortium grant program to support up to three community projects that increase access to home and community-based services for people age 65 and older. The Carondolet Village project has care coordinators who target 100 to 300 seniors identified as having two or more chronic conditions that result in a disability. The project uses a variety of local community resources including Living at Home Block Nurse Programs, St. Regional news - cont. on p. 15
June 10, 2010
Chrestomathy marks 25 years of useful learning
Chrestomathy founder Linda Moore invites all to join in the anniversary celebration. A specialized day training and habilitation program for high-needs clients is marking 25 years of service by hosting an anniversary fundraising jubilee. Chrestomathy got its start in July 1985 with 15 developmentally disabled program participants in South Minneapolis. In 1984, Hennepin County planning staff asked Linda Moore, a psychologist and her associates to design a new type of specialized day program for individuals with intellectual disabilities and high needs.
Moore and her associates had provided residential housing for more than a decade to individuals who had come primarily from state institutions. They already specialized in working with individuals deemed “difficult to handle” so they were approached by Hennepin County to develop a new model for day program services for the same population. Mary Hill, a longtime board member and a teacher with Minneapolis Public schools and Moore, a psychologist and
executive director, contemplated names for the new program they helped to found. They agreed upon Chrestomathy, selected for the Greek derivative meaning of “useful learning.” The unusual name has served as a conversation starter for several years and has fueled the program’s continual quest to provide meaningful, inclusive life experiences for all participants. Moore had served as an expert consultant as other states tried to emulate Minnesota’s success in developing com-
munity services and she has always been passionate about inclusion and quality service provision tailored to the individual. Her interest and knack for working with individuals with intellectual disabilities emerged when she was in elementary school, she said. As part of the request for a proposal, Moore and her colleagues were asked to carefully contemplate the structure, programming and the cost of a new day program service to be sure that the service needs of some of Hennepin County’s most challenging clients with intellectual disabilities would be met in the coming years. The county was embarking on final plans to move everyone living in institutions into the community and needed to be sure support services were ready. Plus, there were already very high need individuals who were underserved or not served at all by existing programs in the community and more young adults graduating from public schools. By 1992, Hennepin County requested an expansion to a second site to serve the southwestern metropolitan area. In 1995 Dakota County officials requested that a program be developed in Burnsville to
serve some of their most difficult participants. Chrestomathy now has sites in Minneapolis, Eden Prairie and Burnsville. Chrestomathy is well known for quality service provision driven by a passion for excellence. Moore herself brings 36 years’ experience to the program. Few programs have the expertise to work positively and confidently with individuals who act out, cannot communicate well or have not yet learned to participate in a group setting with enthusiasm and a positive outlook. Through the years, family and team members have at times been astounded at what participants have been able to achieve and the remarkable growth they have made. Many participants now have community jobs. All have a sense of inclusion and meaning in their lives, as they get up, go to work and have a place where they are challenged to learn and grow on a daily basis. Family members, social workers and client praise Chrestomathy; “For my fourth year being at Chrestomathy Center, I have learned lots of new skills that I couldn’t do without this program,” client Jill wrote. “O, I remember way
back when I started at Chrestomathy four years ago, I really didn’t want to be there, but now I am thankful that I decided to stay.” One family, whose severely disabled son learned anger management and work skills through Chrestomathy, wrote, “When Paul was young, we never considered the possibility that he could work for money. We were wrong. . . He has instead become a happy, affectionate, well-liked and often charming person.” “Community employment was just a dream that Chrestomathy made happen for Kate,” another family member wrote. Chrestomathy hosts a 25th Anniversary fundraising jubilee Thursday, July 15 at the Marriott Southwest Hotel, 5801 Opus Parkway, Minnetonka. Tickets are $10 each and must be purchased in advance to reserve a spot. Gourmet food and drink, live music, a silent auction and special guest speakers will be featured. Email Robyn@chrestom athyinc.org if you would like to attend. If you cannot attend, but have a story or memory to share, please email that, too. ■
Capital fellowship program a great experience by Roberta Blomster, Capitol Fellowship Program intern from Merrick, Inc. Hello, my name is Roberta Blomster and I am a client and self-advocate from Merrick, Inc. I had the honor of taking part in the 2010 Capitol Fellowship Program and I’m going to let you know about the wonderful experience that I have with the program. Feb. 4 was the first day of the program and it started with the press conference. Sen. Kathy Sheran, DFL-Mankato, introduced the fellows and the senators who were taking part in the program. After that, it was time for the photos-including the one with each intern and their senator or senators. I was assigned to Sen. David Tomassoni, DFLChisholm, which is in northern St. Louis County. Besides meeting Tomassoni, I also met his legislative assistant, Laura Bakk (wife of Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook); his committee administrator, Cap O’Rourke and David Jensen, one of the Senate fiscal analysts. I took a tour of the capitol and sat in on the opening session on the Senate floor. Feb. 11 was Disability Day at the Capitol and I got to see some of the rally. The best part was when Sheran brought up the program. I met Michael, a page who also works for Tomassoni and was running into a lot of my friends that I know from Advocating
Change Together, Remembering with Dignity, Arc and other groups. Feb 18th was a very fun day. I was not only interviewed by Arc Greater Twin Cities for the 2009 Annual Report Realize Your Power, but I also got to hear U.S. Senator Al Franken speak and found that he still has his sense of humor intact. I also invited Tomassoni to see a self-advocacy group at Merrick in action. April 11-14, I was in Washington, D.C. for the Disability Policy Seminar as part of the Arc Greater Twin Cities delegation with Kim Keprios,
“The goal I have: to have people with disabilities intern at offices of Minnesota’s Congressional delegation” Meredith Salmi, and Erin Zolotukhin-Ridgeway. I had the Capitol Fellowship Program mentioned in the short story that I had done for the Hill Visits on April 14. Those visits were with staff of these members of the Minnesota Congressional delegation: Franken, Congressman John Kline, Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Congressman Keith Ellison, and Congress-
man Jim Oberstar. I handed them copies of my short story and for three of the visits, I spoke about the program. For the visits with McCollum’s staff, I did mention the goal that I have: To have people with disabilities intern at the Minnesota offices of members of the Minnesota Congressional delegation. April 29 was the final day of the internship. I got two treats from MN Works!-a certificate signed by Tomassoni on my completion of the program and a binder to take a little stroll down memory lane (which included their November 2009 newsletter that had a story on the Capitol Fellowship Program). Weekly lunches included visits with state senators including Sheran, John Doll, Ken Kelash, Lisa Fobbe, John Marty, Tomassoni, Mary Olson, Ellen Anderson, Larry Pogemiller, and Ron Latz, and representatives of WACOSA, the State Council on Disability, the MN Works! Board; the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and members of the Senate. These lunches have been very informative and helped me out a great deal. With regards to federal funding for MN Works! , U.S. Sen. Al Franken has requested
$300,000 solely for the Capitol Fellowship Program; while U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has requested $250,000 under Public Sector Employment for people with disabilities. The program has drawn attention. My participation has been mentioned in the Vadnais Heights Press, Access Press, Hibbing Daily Tribune and MN Works! April 2010 newsletter. ■ For more information on the Capitol Fellowship Program, go to the blog: http:// blog.mnworks4you.org
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June 10, 2010
People and places
Good sports in our community Do you believe in miracles? Many children do in Bloomington. Thanks to a group of charitable teens and generous local organizations, the West Metro Miracle League unveiled a new Daktronics digital display scoreboard at Bennett Family Park in Minnetonka May 23. This is the only one of its kind installed at a Minnesota Little League park. Since 2008, the West Metro Miracle League non-profit has provided memorable experiences for children with cognitive and/or physical challenges to play baseball on an organized and integrated league teams. Its 10 teams will field 120 players for the 2010 season. Every child gets to play, every child gets on base and every game ends in a tie. The league’s Subway Restaurants—Harmon Killebrew Field has all the special modifications to make the field accessible for all. “It’s wonderful to see young Kids can touch ‘em all at Miracle Field. people stepping up to the plate Photo courtesy of Stephen McKean to make such unselfish and critical contribution to support our league,” said Lisa Adzick, Astros. Another local group of Minnetonka teenagers donated league president. “This unveiling ceremony gives us a chance proceeds from their annual Capture the Flag Birthday Party to to recognize those who have helped make these memorable fund Brady’s Brewers in honor of a classmate who passed away in October. opportunities possible for our special players.” In today’s economy where businesses are struggling and kids Courage Center athlete honored are in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, the West Metro Sports Illustrated and its “Faces in the Crowd” feature Miracle League is fortunate to be surrounded by so many caring individuals. Every year, the Garibaldi family of Shorewood included a member of the Minnesota Junior Rolling organizes its 3-on-3 basketball tournament to raise money in Timberwolves last month. Robbie Wilhelm and his many honor of Chris Garibaldi, who died of cancer seven years ago. contribution to the national championship team were recogThis year the Garibaldis and a group of close friends earmarked nized. Wilhelm, who attends Irondale High School in New Brighton, tournament proceeds for the Miracle League and a new scoreboard for Bennett Family Park. In addition, five area was the tournament and title game MVP at the National Rotary clubs also made sizable contributions to help make up Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) National Championships in Denver this spring. He scored 32 points in his the difference in the scoreboard’s funding. Other groups of kind-hearted teenagers have teamed up, team’s 70-32 title-winning game over the Rancho Renegades sponsoring two teams this season. Jacob Ungerman, a 13-year- of California. The Courage Center team is the first in NWBA high school old, contributed his bar mitzvah money to sponsor the Ungerman division history to win three consecutive titles.
Adapted bowling winners named The Minnesota State High School Leagues’ adapted bowling state tournament was held May 21 at the Eden Prairie Brunswick Zone. North/Tartan, which won its first team title in 2007, returned and successfully defended its title for the team’s third overall cognitive impairments division championship. Three 2009 veterans, juniors Andrew Trepanier, Alex Odegard, and Chris Brandt, plus new junior teammate Eric Knoblauch combined for a 1,730 score to outdistance runner-up Lake City by 60 pins. An Alexandria team finished third. In other CI events new champs were crowned. Anoka ninthgrader Adrianna Vensland won her first championship in girls’ singles with 451 total. Alexandria junior Kaila Seidel was runner-up and Simley (Inver Grove Heights) ninth-grader Lisa Robinette was third. Mankato West junior Annie Barton rolled the high game (160). In boys’ singles, Mankato West senior Damon Leverette won with a 499 total. Anoka senior Nick Klimczak and North Branch sophomore Trevor Klein tied for second. Wayzata/ Minnetonka senior Andrew Betker rolled a 220 to lead all bowlers. Alexandria doubles duo of senior Nicole Anderson and sophomore Torii Erickson won gold medals with a 932 score. The defending champions, junior Andrew Winter and sophomore Gideon Hartsell, also of Alexandria, had to settle for third place. The Spring Lake Park duo of senior Scott Kryzer and junior Raul Chicatto won second place. St. Paul Humboldt won its fourth title in the physical impairments division with a total of 1,864 pins. The winning team was comprised of junior James Yang, sophomore Zach Bougie, and ninth-graders Nu Vang and Joshua Bader. Defending champions from Monticello had to settle for second. St. Paul Highland Park finished third. St. Paul Humboldt senior Michelle Stark won her first girls’ singles title with 463, just six pins better than runner-up Kaylee McDermott, an eighth-grader from Austin. North Branch eighthgrader Iman Omar was third. Wayzata/Minnetonka sophomore Kristin Lynch rolled a 128 game for the highest mark of the field. In boys’ singles, sophomore Domonic Slattery of Cambridge-Isanti successfully defended his title with a 475 total, becoming the first repeat boys’ singles champion in tournament history. St. Paul Humboldt freshmen Wyatt Johnson and Nu Vang claimed the second- and third-place medals. St. Paul Highland Park senior Charlie Jenkins rolled a 138 for the highest mark. Monticello won the doubles competition as senior Danielle Bardell and sophomore Kim Niskanen combined for a 933 total. Doubles pairs from St. Paul Humboldt tied to claim the second-place medals. Stark and Johnson, and senior Kevin Mosner and sophomore Bridget Ekeberg shared honors. ■
June 10, 2010
People and places
News about people in our community “What we quickly realized,” ten Broeke added, “was a large percent of the guests were disabled, most with mental illness or chemical dependency.” Being disabled meant that most of the guests qualified for a state program called Group Residential Housing, which helps low-income clients locate housing and get needed supports to maintain it. The problem with GRH, however, is clients need a case manager – someone to hold their hand, help them find the housing, and provide supports so they can be successful in the new environment. Excited about the idea, ten Broeke approached a long-time supporter of Heading Home Hennepin, the plan to end homelessness in Hennepin: the Rev. Jim Gertmenian of the Plymouth Congregational Church. “The project was clear in its goal and obviously measurable, it was perfect. It taps into the basic values that still exist in this state: we care about the most vulnerable,” Gertmenian said. He thought they needed to go see the Rev. Timothy Hart-Andersen of the Westminster Presbyterian Church. Hart-Andersen’s response? “This is really compelling. I recommended that we have a talk with Sam Grabarski, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.” “When Jim and Tim invited me over for coffee and told me this idea, it felt like divine providence,” Grabarski said. “I was intrigued and I thought this idea dovetailed well with our mission. The Downtown Council of Minneapolis strives to make the downtown as livable as possible for everyone. We’re against bad behavior and we’re for the milk of human kindness. We’re also aware that some of our downtown workers are homeless.” No sooner had ten Broeke completed her pitch to the Business Council, when a representative from Ameriprise stood up A Hearts & Hammers crew worked on a St. Paul home. and donated $20,000. The excitement was contagious. In less than four months, the $350,000 was raised. Hearts & Hammers lends a hand It was also the most cost-effective solution. A recent Hennepin Hearts & Hammers – Twin Cities, Inc. working directly with study shows that the county saves about $13,000 per person per the City of Saint Paul, Summit / University Planning Council year who is housed versus using shelter services and other and the Greater Frogtown Community Development Corpora- expensive public services. tion hosted the Hearts & Hammers Spring Program Day May 15. More than 350 volunteers from local businesses, profesStarry Night Prom reaches milestone sional organizations and church groups participated in this oneDeLaSalle High School for the past 10 years has sponsored day home-restoration program in two geographic areas of the “Starry Night Prom,” which draws several hundred people of city. They helped many disabled and elderly home owners. all ages with disabilities, many of whom never had attended a Volunteers provided exterior painting, landscaping and mod- prom before. Couples and single attendees dressed to the ”T” erate home improvements at no cost to deserving home owners and danced the night away May 8 to the live music inside the to help maintain the safety, integrity and weatherproofing of downtown Minneapolis school’s star-themed decorated gymtheir homes. The families whose homes will be worked on this nasium. day were selected by Hearts & Hammers because they own and It is no different than other school proms, including the occupy a home located within a designated area, are elderly or “Grand March,” said Lasallian Ministry Associate C.J. Hallman. physically disabled and/or are financially unable to maintain “Each participant of the prom gets to go under an archway, their home independently. Most of the restoration on the homes where they get their pictures taken. People can applaud them, was complete during the one-day event see them dressed up and give them a moment in the spotlight. “The impact that we can make locally to the owner’s resi- Some even go through two or three times, and we allow them dence; and the impact that we make personally on our volun- to go until it’s over.” The school’s Lasallian Ministry Departteers makes the day an amazing experience for our community ment organized the annual event. Hosting it was a result of at large” said Mike Hutson, executive directive of Hearts & DeLaSalle students exploring ways to perform community Hammers. “We are changing the lives of so many people, one service, said school Vice President Peg Hodapp. “We thought house at a time.” disability was something we hadn’t examined yet,” she said. Inspired by the Harlem Children’s Zone, St. Paul’s Commu- “We threw the first one [in 2000] with about 70 guests. Over the nity Investment Campus is an effort to improve student achieve- years it has grown — the last two years, there have been over ment with a holistic focus on education, neighborhood en- a thousand people here.” An estimated 1,000-plus people, hancement and the building of stronger communities. Hearts & including caregivers and parents, attended the May 8 event. Hammers plays an integral role in this movement by rebuilding “We welcome people from grade school on up to 75 years and maintaining the homes of these very communities. Hearts old,” said Hodapp. “We once had a man here who was 75 and and Hammers offers two programming days every year draw- lived in an institution most of his life. He was so thrilled.” ing more than 1200 volunteers annually. More information on Kiebler Noel says this year was his fifth time attending the the Hearts & Hammers and their Spring Program Days can be prom. The 24-year-old from Crystal said he really enjoys found at www.heartsandhammers.org or contact Mike Hutson, people watching. “People are dressed up looking sharp, great firstname.lastname@example.org and pretty,” he notes. “I’m glad that it is every year for people to come and enjoy Business, faith, government partnership themselves,” said Thelma Barb, a worker at Seeks Home, a yields new homes group home located in Osseo. For 10 years, Sally was a frequent guest at the Salvation First-time student volunteers each expressed their pleasure Army’s shelter on Currie Avenue. Like most of the hundreds of working the prom. “I’m happy to be here to make this a real big guests staying at the shelter each evening, Sally lives with a day for them,” said junior Karrie Puckett. “I like seeing their disability of mental illness. Now, she is one of the first long- smiling faces and [the girls] in their pretty dresses.” time guests of the Currie Avenue shelters to move to her own [Source: Minneapolis Spokesman-Recorder] apartment, thanks to a new initiative, the Currie Avenue Partnership, that was conceived in December and quickly garnered Pairing up at Dakota Communities support from the faith, business and local community. The relay race at the Ways to Wellness fitness center in The idea came after Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Woodbury wasn’t going Melody’s way. She could see her Dorfman and the City-County Coordinator to End Homelessness team’s row of hand weights wasn’t shrinking as quickly as the Cathy ten Broeke visited the Salvation Army shelter one opposing team’s, so she took drastic action. Hoping nobody evening in December after noticing an uptick in shelter usage would notice—though everyone did—she grabbed two weights as the recession hit. “We were mobbed,” Dorfman said. “People at once, slyly jogged across the room and dumped them in her heard someone from government was there, and they came to team’s bucket. “Melody!” fitness trainer Rachel Larson exask questions. Can you help me get a job? Can you help me get claimed. Nobody took the infraction too seriously—not when housing?” the main goal is to increase fun and exercise for Melody, 51,
and other Dakota Communities clients like her with developmental disabilities. The moment mostly underscored the playful competitiveness that has helped make the fitness program a success. Now in its second year, Dakota’s “Be Connected, Be Well” initiative pairs disabled clients with staff caregivers who join them in weekly fitness sessions. The point of pairing clients and staff is to get them to motivate and inspire each other —and maybe compete once in a while, too. “This is the first program we’ve implemented where (residents and caregivers) are doing it side by side,” said Toni O’Brien, director of community life for Dakota Communities, which operates 32 residential facilities in the metro area. “So it’s with them, not to them.” In the first year, 22 participants lost an average of 13 pounds each, reduced their body mass index and improved their metabolism. The big surprise to leaders of the program was that the disabled clients lost more weight on average in the first year than the Dakota staff members. Improved fitness is a huge benefit for Melody, who has been in institutional care for most of her life because of Down syndrome and mental disability. Her last name isn’t included in this report because she is a ward of the state. Obesity and poor health can only compound problems for the developmentally disabled, leaving them prone to more illnesses and to expensive hospital care and medications. “Oftentimes, we put them in a box, but they have so much potential. It’s a matter of seeing it,” said Tina Stofferahn, a coordinator of one of Dakota’s homes who is paired with Melody in the fitness program. “I never knew Melody could do sit-ups, and I never asked her to do sit-ups. But she can do more than I can.” The program was designed for the staff, too, given that Dakota, like most businesses, is seeing its health insurance costs rise and has an interest in improving the health of its work force. The workers and residents travel together weekly to Ways to Wellness, a HealthEast fitness center adjacent to the Woodwinds hospital. ■ [Source: Pioneer Press]
June 10, 2010
MIXED RESULTS sis homes that no longer will get funds from GAMC, unless hospitals send patients to them. She has been in talks with metropolitan-area hospitals that will be coordinating GAMC. “What we don’t know is what kind of relationships and contracts will they enter into with the community?” she told MPR. Abderholden is worried that the hospitals won’t give out their GAMC funds to the providers that will offer the most appropriate care to patients. Medicaid/Medical Assistance expansion One potential solution to the GAMC dilemma is to expand Medicaid under new federal health care laws. But expansion of the federal Medicaid program, known as Medical Assistance in Minnesota, sparked controversy in the closing days of the session. How this is resolved depends upon who the next governor is. The issue already has emerged in the 2010 governor’s race. DFLers wanted to expand Medicaid coverage to include childless adults whose income
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is less than 75 percent of the federal poverty level. They argued that by spending $188 million in state money, Minnesota could bring in $1.4 billion in federal funds over the next three years. Some GOP preferred a state-run plan that utilized federal dollars. A change could affect about 100,000 Minnesotans. DFL-endorsed candidate and House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher supports Medicaid expansion. Independence Party-endorsed candidate Tom Horner also supports expansion. Rep. Tom Emmer, the GOP endorsee, has described such a move as moving into “Obamacare.” He opposes the expansion and said it would give up the standards set for other state programs, including GAMC and MinnesotaCare. In Minnesota MA currently covers more than 500,000 people. About half are seniors and people with disabilities; the rest are families. Various health care groups and hospitals supported the expansion, despite hospitals having to pay additional surcharges. The tradeoff is that hospitals would get more cov-
erage for uncompensated emergency room visits. The legislative session ended with Minnesota having the option to opt into the program by Jan 15, 2011. Personal care attendants (PCAs) A number of changes were made to regulations covering PCA services, for PCA and their clients and for PCA agencies. Many changes were meant to clarify existing state law, including definitions of extended PCA services, which expenses should be considered wages and benefits and that the number of hours worked by a PCA per day not be disallowed by the department unless in violation of the law. One clarification is that an activity of daily living (ADL) and an ADL does not need to take place everyday to be considered for reimbursement. (The recipients must be assessed as dependent based on a daily need or need on the days during the week the activity is completed) One change will make it easier for a PCA to follow a client to a new agency, before the PCA’s new background check is completed. Another change confirms the limit of 275 working hours per month for each PCA. This will affect many people who have live-in PCAs. Another change is that a PCA agency cannot require a PCA to sign an agreement not to work with any particular PCA recipient or for another agency after leaving the agency. ■
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time for the state to acknowledge that terrible injustices were done to tens of thousands of Minnesotans who were punished for having mental illnesses or developmental and other disabilities. “I am very pleased that the state, on a bipartisan basis, was willing to make this apology,” he said. “For over 100 years Minnesota had public policies that took people with mental illness and disabilities away from their families and communities and committed them to state institutions. In those institutions, some were forced to work without pay, some were subjected to medical experiments and procedures without their consent, some were subjected to punitive shock treatments, aversive treatments and isolation,” he added. “The Senate Health Committee heard from adults who spend their childhood locked in an institution, away from their families, sometimes being cruelly punished for things beyond their control. They were denied the dignity that every person deserves. This is a shameful part of Minnesota’s history.” One of those who testified before a House committee was Manny Steinman, who spent much of his childhood at the Faribault State Hospital. Steinman told committee members that he remembers the kind teachers, counselors and other staff who cared for him, as well as the friends he made before leaving the facility in 1968. But Steinman, who has bipolar disorder, also recalls unpleasant times during his stay and cruel treatment. He once required stitches after a night watchman hit him over the head. “I never got an apology for it,” he said. More than 40 years later,
Steinman was among those backing HF 1680. The bill acknowledges ways in which some patients’ quality of life was diminished, including subjection to frontal lobotomies, isolation and medical experiments. The resolution also recognizes the painful decisions that faced parents like the Steinmans, who were forced to choose between institutionalizing their child or providing all of his required care themselves. “It would be great if you could pass a few simple words: ‘I am sorry for the treatment (you) received,” said Carol Robinson, a board member for ACT. “It would mean a lot to us.” Marty and disability activists recalled the long struggle to get the apology legislation passed. As a state representative in 1997, Betty McCollum withdrew a bill after amendments on the House floor threatened to water down the language or even give it the opposite effect. McCollum now represents Minnesota in Congress. Opponents feared a formal apology from the Legislature would prompt former patients or their families to sue the state, something that could happen with or without the bill, said Rick Cardenas, co-director of ACT. Others said at the time they saw the bill as insulting to those who had worked in state hospitals. But supporters said that lawsuits and insults weren’t their intent. Others said the bill insulted state institution employees. That was also a concern raised by Pawlenty in a letter to state leaders. He said the resolution “negatively paints with a very board brush the actions of state employees, who, in most cases, took actions based in good faith
and scientific understanding at that time.” Many states have issued apologies, not only for institutionalization in general, but for specific practices like those listed in the Minnesota bill, Cardenas said. He does not know of other states being taken to court over their apologies. “By offering this public apology, the state acknowledges its past mistakes, and helps put closure on this era,” said Marty. This apology may not seem important to some, but for people who were wrongfully committed to these institutions earlier in their lives, this apology is of great importance. For the individuals and families affected, they are finally hearing the state say these meaningful words, ‘we’re sorry’.” Public officials played a role in demonizing people with disabilities and mental illness, said Luther Granquist, a retired attorney whose successful class-action suit on behalf of people with mental retardation in the 1970s contributed to the closing of state hospitals. In a 1925 speech to state officials, the superintendent of the Faribault facility described what he called “the menace of the feeble-minded. He basically said these people are a menace, we need to confine them,” Granquist said. The newly signed law includes not only an apology, but a commitment from the state to provide future assistance to people with disabilities. Cardenas sees this provision as especially important in light of looming budget cuts to health and human services. ■ (This article includes information from ACT and Session Weekly, a Minnesota House publication.)
June 10, 2010
Fee increase for families, disabled children is eyed Compiled by Access Press staff A fee increase included in the recently approved state budget agreement is a tax on families who have children with disabilities, according to The Arc of Minnesota, an advocacy group for persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. “Why are we targeting families who are trying to raise their children with disabilities?” said Pat Mellenthin, Executive Director of The Arc of Minnesota. “They already face substantial costs in raising their children with disabilities, including fees for the services they need to keep their children at home. Many of these parents had been previously hit with a huge jump in their fees. They don’t needor deserve “to be taxed further.” The fee increase would take effect on July 1. These fees were increased dramatically in 2003. At that time, some middle-income families saw their fees increase by as much as 200% or more; families of about 7,000 children were affected then. The monthly increase just approved will mean that a middle-income family of four earning $60,000 will see their fee rise by another 8.7%. Many families earning higher incomes will see increasingly larger percentage increases. “To balance our state budget, we don’t have to single out families who struggle daily to meet their children’s needs,” Mellenthin said. “Our legislators can raise revenues more fairly and more broadly and not target families with disabilities. They can fund innovative ways of providing services that can save the state money and improve their quality. They can fund programs that help keep families together, maintain the independence of people with disabilities, and spend tax dollars more cost-effectively.” The Arc of Minnesota supports a number of the provisions in the state budget. “The bill does not include any rate
cuts to providers of services that help people maintain their independence in the community. These services are more cost-effective than services in larger institutions,” said Steve Larson, The Arc of Minnesota’s Public Policy Director. “It also funds an innovative program to measure the satisfaction of services–one that involves people with disabilities and helps ensure that our disability services are improving their lives Here’s how a number of other issues fared during the 2010 session of the Minnesota Legislature. Information is from MnCCD, the Arc of Minnesota and other advocacy groups. Complete Streets legislation was passed. The new law will ensure that Minnesota’s roads are planned and designed to be safe and accessible for drivers, pedestrians, transit riders, and bicyclists. Some cities have Complete Streets policy; this makes the policy statewide. Much of the implementation is in the hands of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) with the involvement of community stakeholders. It also provides design flexibility for local communities in street and road projects. Building code access will change, as municipalities need to enforce the access requirements in code. This new law provides the option of hiring or contracting with an accessibility specialist for the purpose of code review and enforcement. There are also clear steps for the state to take if cities fail to comply.
Pregnant women who do not have disabling medical issues will not be able to obtain a disability-parking placard. A bill that would have eased the placard restrictions for expectant mothers did not get through the committee process. Service animals will get more protection as there will be a criminal penalty for any person who intentionally renders a service animal unable to perform its duties regardless of whether or not the service animal was physically harmed. Offenders who are convicted of harming service animals pay restitution to the service animal’s handler for expenses resulting from the crime. Waiver growth is affected. Waiver acuity factor in DD waiver suspended from Jan 1 2010 to June 30 2011. TBI, CADI and DD waiver slots are limited for FY 2010 A Minnesota Council on Transportation Access was established to study, evaluate, oversee, and make recommendations to improve the coordination, availability, accessibility, efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and safety of transportation services provided to the transit public. “Transit public” means those persons who utilize public transit and those who, because of mental or physical disability, income status, or age are unable to transport themselves and are dependent upon others for transportation services. Rehabilitative therapies saw a number of changes. In the area of Physical Therapy, prior authorization by the commissioner will be required to provide services beyond: 80
units of any approved CPT code other than modalities; 20 modality sessions; and three evaluations or reevaluations. This is effective July 1, 2010 for FFS and January 1, 2011 for managed care. In the area of Occupational Therapy, prior authorization by the commissioner will be required to provide services beyond: 120 units of any combination of approved CPT codes; and two evaluations or reevaluations. Effective July 1, 2010 for FFS and January 1, 2011 for managed care. In the area of Speech therapy, prior authorization by the commissioner will be required to provide services beyond: 50 treatment sessions with any combination of approved CPT codes; and one evaluation. Effective July 1, 2010 for FFS and January 1, 2011 for managed care. For Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy, effective July 1 2010 these services will be classified as basic care services, and will therefore see a 2% increase in rates for services beginning on July 1, 2010 (line 94.30) Medicare Payment Limit was changed. Effective July 1, 2010, basic care service rates shall not exceed the Medicare payment rate for applicable services (does not apply to
mental health services). For most every Medicaid reimbursed service where reimbursement rates are currently higher than the Medicare reimbursement rates, providers will see a rate cut as these rates are brought into line with Medicare rates. Education programs did not see much movement as the House, Senate and Gov. Tim Pawlenty could not agree on a K-12 omnibus bill. It’s the first time in many years there have been no significant changes to state education policy. Nor will Minnesota compete for federal Race to the Top funding. Community Counts is moving ahead. The Minnesota State Council on Disabilities, MnCCD, and the Arc of Minnesota may submit an annual report by January 15 of each year, beginning 2012, to the chairs and ranking minority members of the legislative committees with jurisdiction over programs serving people with disabilities. The report will provide data and measurement to assess the extent to which goals and benchmarks in the area of disability services are being met. This is important in tracking how the state meets goals in serving people with disabilities. MA-EPD, effective Jan 1, 2011, the commissioner shall
notify enrollees annually beginning at least 24 months before their 65th birthday of the medical assistance eligibility rules affecting income, assets and treatments of a spouse’s income and assets that will be applied upon reaching age 65. Minnesota Disability Health Options (MnDHO) shall now longer exist, effective January 1, 2011, MnDHO shall no longer exist. The commissioner may reopen the program provided certain applicable conditions are met (line 127.34) Region 10 Quality Assurance project has $10,000 in funding restored, after losing funding in 2009. A commission is overseeing a personcentered process that significantly enhances the quality of life for persons with developmental disabilities. Durable medical supplies and equipment will have reimbursement changes. The commissioner may now set reimbursement rates for specified categories of medical supplies at levels below the Medicare payment rate, which will result in medical supply companies and MA providers seeing reduced reimbursement rates for durable medical equipment. ■
June 10, 2010
Accessible performances The following performances will be Audio Described (AD) for people who are blind or have low vision, or interpreted in American Sign Language (ASL) for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Selected performances offer reduced admission prices for the patron and one companion. When calling a box office, confirm the service (ASL or AD), date, time, ticket price and anything else needed, e.g. length of performance, etc. If you attend a show, please share your feedback with the performing organization, interpreter, and VSA arts of Minnesota. Accessible performance information is compiled by VSA arts of Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or www.vsaartsmn.org
See www.accesspress.org for complete listing and for Accessible Movie Theaters Children and Other Optical Illusions June 17-19 Magic Lantern Puppet Theater at Dreamland Arts, 677 Hamline Ave. N., St. Paul. ASL: Fri., June 18, 7:30 p.m. Tix: Reduced to $6 in advance, $7 at door (reg. $12 in advance, $14 at door); Phone: Circle Mirror Transformation 651-645-5506. Web: www. dreamlandarts.com/shows Through June 13 Guthrie Theater’s McGuire Dowling Studio, 818 2nd St. S., The Mystery of Irma Vep June 18 – August 1 Mpls. AD: Fri., June 11, 7:30 p.m. Tix: Reduced to $20 for Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale AD (reg. $18-30); Phone: 612- Ave. S., Mpls. AD: Thurs., 377-2224, TTY 612-377- July 1, 7:30 p.m. Tix: Reduced 6626. Web: www.guthrie to $10 (reg. $20-35); Phone: theater.org/whats_happen 612-822-7063. Web: www. ing/shows/2010/circle_mir jungletheater.com ror_transformation Father of the Bride Through June 20 Emerald and the Love Song Rochester Civic Theatre, 20 of the Dead Fishermen Civic Center Drive SE. ASL: Through June 13 Nimbus Theatre Co. at Mpls. Sat., June 19, 8 p.m. Tix: Theatre Garage, 711 W. $18.50, $15.50 senior, $13.50 Franklin Ave. (at Lyndale). student; Phone: 507-282AD: Sun., June 13, 3 p.m. Tix: 8481. Web: www.rochester Reduced to $8 (reg. $15); civictheatre.org Phone: 651-229-3122. Web: www.nimbustheatre.com Mame June 11-27 Mpls Musical Theatre at Illusion Theatre, 528 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. AD, ASL: Sun., June 20, 7:30 p.m. Tix: Reduced to $18 (reg. $25); Phone: 612-339-4944. Web: www.aboutmmt.org
Quartermaine’s Terms Through June 20 Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Ave., Mpls. AD: Sun., June 20, 2 p.m. Tactile tour 1 p.m. on request. Tix: $20, senior $18, student with ID $10 (Sun. prices); Phone: 612333-3010. Web: www.theatre intheround.org
Phone: 952-979-1111. Web: www.stagestheatre.org
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily Through July 3 Park Square Theatre, 408 Saint Peter St., St. Paul. AD, ASL: Sat., June 12, 7:30 p.m. Tix: Reduced to half-price ($1850); Phone: 651-291-7005. Web: www.parksquaretheatre.org
All Shook Up July 9 - August 1 Lyric Arts Company of Anoka at Main St. Stage, 420 E. Main St., Anoka. ASL: Sat., July 10, 7:30 p.m. Tix: Reduced to $13 (reg. $18, $16 student/ senior), $20 box seats; Phone: 763-422-1838. Web: www. lyricarts.org
Pa’s Hat: Liberian Legacy Through June 27 Pillsbury House Theatre, 3501 Chicago Ave. S., Mpls. AD: Fri., June 11, 7:30 p.m. ASL: Sat., June 19, 7:30 p.m. Tix: Reduced to $10 (must call for discount code VSAARTS; reg. A Streetcar Named Desire $20, student/senior $15); The Stinky Cheese Man ExtrABBAganza: July 3 – August 29 July 9 - August 1 Thank You for the Music Phone: 612-825-0459; E- Guthrie Theater, 818 2nd St. S., mail: info@pillsburyhouse Mpls. AD: Sat., July 24, 1 p.m., SteppingStone Theatre, 55 June 25-26 Twin Cities Gay Men’s Cho- theatre.org Web: www.pills sensory tour 10:30 a.m.; and Victoria St. N., St. Paul. ASL: rus at Ted Mann Concert Hall, buryhousetheatre.org Fri., July 30, 7:30 p.m. ASL: Sun., July 18, 3 p.m. AD: Fri., 2128 4th St. S., Mpls. ASL: Fri., August 6, 7:30 p.m.; July 23, 7 p.m. Tix: Reduced Come Blow Your Horn Fri., June 25, 8 p.m. Tix: Thurs., August 12, 7:30 p.m. . to $6 access rate (reg. $11; July 2 – August 1 Reduced to half-price: $14Captioning: Fri., Aug. 13, child/senior $9); Phone: 65124 (reg. $23-43); Phone: 612- Theatre in the Round, 245 7:30 p.m. Tix: Reduced to 225-9265; E-mail: info@step 624-2345; E-mail: nto@umn. Cedar Ave., Mpls. AD: Sun., $20 for AD/ASL (reg. $15- pingstonetheatre.org Web: edu Web: www.tcgmc.org or July 25, 2 p.m. Tactile tour 40); Captioning $25; Phone: www.steppingstonetheatre.org. 1 p.m. on request. Tix: $20, 612-377-2224, TTY 612-377www.northrop.umn.edu senior $18, student $10 (Sun. 6626. Web: www.Guthrie Dollhouse Through July 11 Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka prices); Phone: 612-333- theater.org 3010. Web: www.theatrein Guthrie Theater, 818 2nd St. June 25 - Aug. 1 Stages Theatre Company at theround.org S., Mpls. AD: Sat., June 12, Hopkins Center for the Arts Perform - cont. on p. 14 Mainstage, 1111 Main St., Hopkins. ASL: Sun., July 11, 2 p.m; Thurs., July 22, 10 p.m. a.m. AD: available on request. he following movie complexes in Minnesota offer a variety of captioning or description Tix: $15, $11 age 2-17 & 60+; services. Contact the theatres below for showtimes of their accessible films. For MoPixequipped Rear Window Captioned Films. go to Web: http://ncam.wgbh.org/mopix/ nowshowing.html#mn. The cinemas are:
Accessible movie theaters
Science Museum of Minnesota Omnitheater Rear Projection Captioning (CC) is available for this film: Arabia, the first major film production to be shown across Arabia, offers an unprecedented look at a rich culture, history and religion that has long been hidden from the West. Travel back in time to the Islamic Golden Age where Arabian science and scholarship flourished. Visit the lost city of Madain Saleh, explore its ancient tombs, join a camel caravan, endure a desert sandstorm, dive to the ancient shipwrecks of the Red Sea and take a hajj—an annual pilgrimage where three million Muslims travel to the holy city of Mecca to reaffirm their faith in the largest single human gathering on Earth. The 45minute film shows daily through October 24. Tickets are $8 adults, $7 senior/child, additional cost to tour museum; members free. Online ordering add $3 service fee. Other films shown at the Omnitheater may offer CC: Closed Rear View Captioning; AD: Audio Description; or Spanish translation. To request accommodations for exhibits, call at least 72 hours in advance: 651-2219406. Open Monday-Wed. 9:30-5 p.m., Thurs.-Sat. 9:309 a.m., Sun. 12-5 p.m.. Contact info: 120 Kellogg Blvd. W., St. Paul 55102, Phone: 651-221-9444, option 2 for film times, reservations or questions; TTY 651-221-
AMC Rosedale 14 Theatres 850 Rosedale Center, Roseville 55113 (Rosedale Center, Hwy 36 & Snelling Ave.), Accessible films in Auditorium 14. Phone: 651604-9347. E-mail: 0651@ amctheatres.com Web: www. AMC has purchased the Kerasotes Block E Stadium amcentertainment.com 15 complex in Mpls., Oakdale Ultrascreen AMC Block E 15, 600 Hennepin Ave., third Cinemas (Marcus Theatres) floor, Mpls. 55403; Accessible 5677 Hadley Ave. N., Oakdale films in Auditoriums 2 & 12. 55128 (I-694 & Hwy 36 next (note: DVS patrons: If your to Fleet Farm); Phone: 651show is in Theatre 2, request 770-4994; Rental & Meeting headset with Letter C. If your info: 651-779-3795. This cinshow is in Theatre 12, request ema uses DTS® (Digital Theheadset with Letter G.) Enter atre Systems, Inc.) to superparking ramp on 7th St. next to impose open-captions over the the Hard Rock Café. Phone: bottom of select movies. Sub612-338-1466, E-mail: TBA. scribe to an Open Caption Web: www.amcentertain weekly e-mailer at Web: ment.com/welcome/ or www. www.marcustheatres.com/ fandango.com/amcblocke opencaption.cfm or www.mar 15_aaups/theaterpage (Scroll custheatres.com/theater. down the lower right-hand cfm?theater_id=2506 column every Fri. morning to see what two films will have Marcus Theatres now rear view captioning or DVS runs these two former CEC Theatres: that week at Block E.) Marcus Lakes Cinema, AMC Eden Prairie Mall 18 4351 Stebner Rd., Hermantown, and Marcus Duluth Theatres 8251 Flying Cloud Drive Suite Theatre, 300 Harbor Drive, 4000, Eden Prairie 55344 Duluth 55811 (located in Ca(Eden Prairie Shopping Cen- nal Park, validated parking in ter, Hwy 212 & 494), Park in DECC lots and ramp); Phone: upper level lot between Sears Movie Line 218-729-0335; & Kohl’s. Accessible films in Emergency Line 218-729Auditorium 7. Phone: 952-656- 0334; Fax 218-729-0334; 0010; movie listings: 888-262- www.marcustheatres.com 4386 (1-888-a.m.C-4FUN); E- Theatre 6 at the Lakes Cinema mail: 0650@amctheatres. offers Rear Window Captioncom Web: www.amcentertain ing and DVS when available. ment.com 4585; E-mail: info@smm. org; Web: Accessibility: www.smm.org/accessibility; Hours & Showtimes: www. smm.org/hours; Tix: www. smm.org/tickets
June 10, 2010
Upcoming events To list an event, email email@example.com Help us
Access Press survey Access Press is in the midst of a strategic planning process. Help the newspaper in June by taking an online reader survey. Weigh in on which newspaper features you like or dislike, and what you would like to see that is missing. If you do not have Internet service or cannot use a computer, call the newspaper office at 651-6442133 and ask for an alternative format or assistance. The survey is at www.accesspress.org
Save the date Access Press hosts its annual Charlie Smith Award Banquet Fri, Nov. 5 at the Minneapolis Airport Marriot, 2020 E. America Blvd., Bloomington. Save the date for an evening of fun and help Access Press honor the 2010 Charlie Smith Award winner. The newspaper is accepting donations for its silent auction and raffle. Charlie Smith Award nominations will be accepted at a later date. FFI: 651-644-2133; d a w n @ a c c e s s p r e s s . o r g, www.accesspress.org
Advocacy Take an ADA survey How do people with disabilities Minnesota rate their community’s implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act? ADA Minnesota, in conjunction with the DBTAC: Great Lakes ADA Center, is conducting The ADA in Your Community Survey to find out the answer. ADA was signed into law in 1990 but there is still need for further compliance. The survey asks Minnesota citizens to identify how they view their community’s current implementation. There is also opportunity for them to provide opinions and ideas about how accessibility can be improved. People with disabilities, family members and advocates are invited to complete the survey. It is available online at: www.TheADASurvey.org. Print copies and alternative formats are available on request. The survey is available in alternative formats. FFI: Cindy Tarshish, 651-6032015, firstname.lastname@example.org Give them a call Metro Center for Independent Living has set up a PCA “You Need to Hear Me” call-in line The purpose of this call-in line is to provide consumers, PCAs/DSPs, families, and interested others the chance to share anonymous comments, reactions and concerns with Department of Human Services and Minnesota Legislature regarding the impact of recent legislative changes which are affecting their lives. How it works: Call 651-6032009 to connect to the “You need to hear me” message line. The caller will hear a short pre-recorded message. The phone will not be answered, ensuring caller anonymity. The callers may leave a short message describing the impact of these changes on their lives, or the lives of their family. The messages can be complaints, concerns, suggestions or general comments. Zip code will be asked for only so comments can be communicated to specific legislators.
20th anniversary ADA Celebration Celebrate the 20th anniversary of passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Comedian Josh Blue, Deaf actor Nic Zapko, former U.S. Senator David Durenberger, vendors, exhibits and food are part of the celebration 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Mon, July 26 at Nicollet Island Pavilion, 40 Power St., Mpls. The event is free and accommodations are offered. FFI: 651-603-2015, 888-630-9793; TTY 888-2066513 or Marie at 1-866-6350082; email@example.com
coming a decade of depression. She will also perform. Tickets for the talk and luncheon are $30. Table sponsorships available. FF: 651-2883508, www.peopleincorpor ated.org
Workshops, conferences Homeless connect The 5th annual East Metro Project Homeless Connect event is 9 a.m.- 4p.m. Mon, June 14, at the St. Paul RiverCentre, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd. Comprehensive free, onsite services are offered to persons experiencing homelessness, including housing referrals and placement, haircuts, eye exams, legal services, veterans services, mental health services and employment and education information. All are welcome.
Gain control People with disabilities who want more control, flexibility and responsibility for their care can attend a free workshop about the consumer support grant at 10:30 a.m. Tue, June 15 at Hennepin County Library, Golden Valley, 830 Winnetka Av. The workshop is sponsored by Hennepin Wings event County Human Services and Wings, a ministry of and for Public Health. Pre-registration adults with physical disabili- required. FFI: 612-596-6631, ties, hosts its 22nd annual www.hennepin.us/adsinfo Karl Kassulke Wheel-a-thon 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat, June 19 at Early intervention lake Harriet, Mpls. Enjoy Early intervention and treatspeakers, free food and fun at ment is essential for a child’s this walk n’ roll event. Regis- success. Learn about the biotration requested. FFI Dale, logical nature of mental ill651-402-6277, Maynard, 507- ness and how parents and 252-8553 teachers can work together as allies to support students, 9 25th anniversary a.m.-noon Tue, June 15 at Chrestomathy hosts a 25th an- NAMI Minnesota, 800 Transniversary fundraising jubilee fer Rd., Suite 31, St. Paul. Cost Thu, July 15 at Marriott South- is $50. FFI: Suzette, 651-645west Hotel, 5801 Opus Park- 2948 x102. way, Minnetonka. Enjoy gourmet food and drink, live muSAM conference sic, silent auction and guest Self Advocates of Minnesota features. $10 cost. Please pre- (SAM) host a regional conferregister. FFI: Robyn@chrest ence Sat, June 26 at Arc Mower omathyinc.org County, Austin. Registration $35 for self-advocates and $15 Jennifer Holliday for support staff. Attend workPeople Incorporated Mental shops, bingo, supper and a Health Services hosts Broad- dance. FFI: Melissa, 1-888way entertainer Jennifer 732-8520 Holliday and Singing from the Heart 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Beyond baby blues Thu, June 10 at Midland Hills Beyond the Baby Blues, an Country Club, 2001 Fulham all-day conference designed to St., Roseville Holliday will educate professionals and discuss her experience of over- families about depression and
A GREA T RESOURCE! GREAT
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anxiety during and after pregnancy, is June 22 at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education Center in St. Paul. Experts in the field of psychiatry, psychology, social work and maternal and child health, along with women and family members whose lives have been affected by postpartum depression will offer presentations. The cost of the conference, including lunch, is $100 or $30 for students. Public child welfare workers get a special rate by registering through the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, at 612-624-4231.Beyond the Baby Blues is sponsored by NAMI Minnesota, UCare, the University Of MN School Of Social Work and Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare at U of MN Social Work. FFI: 651-6452948, www.namihelps.org Hope for recovery The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota (NAMI Minnesota) holds a free, one-day workshop that provides families and individuals with information on mental illnesses, practical coping strategies and hope for recovery 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat, June 12 at Regions Hospital, 640 Jackson St., St. Paul. Registration requested. NAMI offers many other support groups and classes. FFI: NAMI, 651-6452948, www.namihelps.org Adaptive technology classes Free adaptive technology classes are offered by Hennepin County Library, at the downtown Mpls library, 300 Nicollet Mall. Classes are free but you must pre-register for these classes for persons who are blind or have low vision. In addition to classes there are often volunteers available to introduce patrons to the equip-
ment and software available. Volunteer hours vary, so it’s best to call ahead. The Blind and Low Vision Computer User group meets in Room N402 1-3 p.m. the second Saturday of each month, with a different speaker. Funding for Adaptive Technology classes is provided by a generous grant from the Hudson Family Foundation. FFI: 612-630-6469, www.hclib.org
For kids, families Opportunity Partners’ Career Camp Sign up for Opportunity Partners’ Career Camp, a five-day summer day camp helping youth with disabilities set reachable dreams and goals for careers, personal well-being and growth. The camp, geared for students with disabilities ages 16-21, is designed with fun in mind, learning through games, employer tours, and activities to explore the world of employment and reachable career goals. Participants will gain knowledge of career resources, will enhance their job-seeking skills, and will boost their mindbody-spirit connection through sensory games. Camp session I is July 26-30, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (deadline July 16). Camp session II is Aug. 16-20, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (deadline Aug. 6). The cost to attend is $450 per session, plus transportation costs if requested and arranged in advance. FFI: Jennie Meuwis-
sen, 952-930-7688, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org First Friday fun Upstream Arts will be at Minnesota Children’s Museum on the first Fridays of every month, 6-7 p.m. Local professional artists will be leading poetry, dance, music and visual arts activities for children of all abilities and their families. There is no cost beyond the museum admission fee. The museum is at 10 West 7th St; St. Paul. FFI: 651-2256000
Support groups Arc parent groups The Arc has started two free networking groups in Hastings for parents of children with autism and Down syndrome. Get connected, gain valuable information and resources, and share emotional support. Both groups meet monthly during the school year at McAuliffe Elementary School, 1601 12th Street W., Hastings. Pre-register. Meetings include a pizza dinner. Child care provided. Autism group meets 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. first Thursday of the month. Down syndrome group meets 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. fourth Monday of the month. FFI: 952-920-0855 Mental illness The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota Events - cont. on p. 15
June 10, 2010
Cont. from p. 12
1 p.m.; sensory tour 10:30 a.m.; Fri., June 18, 7:30 p.m. ASL: Fri., June 25, 7:30 p.m.; Thurs., July 1, 7:30 p.m. Captioning: Fri., July 9, 7:30 p.m. Tix: Reduced to $20 for AD/ASL (reg. $15-40); Captioning $25; Phone: 612-377-2224, TTY 612-377-6626. Web: www. Guthrietheater.org
Annie July 15-18 Stillwater Area High Theatre, 5701 Stillwater Blvd N. ASL: Sun., July 18, 2 p.m. (call to confirm) Tix: $12; senior $7, student/child $5. Order online beginning June 14. Web: http:/ /ce.stillwater.k12.mn.us/ Community_Theatre.html
Anything Goes July 14-August 1 Trollwood Performing Arts School at IMAGINE Amphitheater, 801 50 th Ave. S., Moorhead. AD: Fri., July 16, 8:30 p.m. ASL: Fri., July 23, 8:30 p.m. Tix: $10 general admission, $17-25 reserved; Phone: 218-477-6502; email: Trollwood@fargo.k12.nd.us Web: www.trollwood.org
Guys and Dolls July 16 - Aug. 1 Mounds View Community Theatre at Irondale High School, 2425 Long Lake Road, New Brighton. ASL: Sat., July 24, 2 p.m on request two weeks in advance. Tix: Reduced to $9 (reg. $16, $12 senior & student, $8 child under 12); Phone: 651-638-2139; Email: email@example.com; Web: www.mvct.org
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The Music Man July 22 - August 7 Off Broadway Musical Theatre at New Hope Outdoor Theatre, 4401 Xylon Ave. N., New Hope ASL: Fri., July 28, 8 p.m (July 30, 90 p.m rain make-up) Tix: Free; Phone: 763-531-5151; TTY 763-5315109; E-mail: srader@ci .newhope.mn.us; Web: www.ci. new-hope.mn.us ■
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QUACAMOLE chotic. One night she ran away ran until she couldn’t run another step. She hid under a huge pine tree in a park and swallowed a full bottle of pills. She called me on her cell just after she had taken this overdose. She told me how much she loved me, how sorry she was, but that I and the world would be better off and she and Gwok were going to get some rest. Everyone was looking for her, but it wasn’t until hours later that a passerby saw her and called 911. Doctors said it was a miracle her heart didn’t explode or she didn’t stroke out. Somewhere deep inside, she wanted to live, and her heart took all that poison and, even though her pulse was well over 150 when they found her, it was still beating.
Cont. from p. 3
In intensive care, what Melanie was most afraid of was that Gwok was still in the park under that big pine, all alone. She was frantic in the midst of her terrible hallucinations and pain. But her mom rushed to the park, and there was faithful Gwok, looking up at her, just waiting to be returned to his Melanie. He helped her recover, again, never leaving her side. The hospital staff fell in love with Gwok and got him his own little wrist band with their names so everyone would know that they belonged together. Melanie and Gwok HAVE “seen the years,” as that old Irish proverb says. And there are no complaints, no bitterness, no “why me?” There’s pain, of course, and fear from
her terrible depression and PTSD. But she still gets up, travels to the far ends of the earth if need be, and she and Gwok keep on doing their work. The thing that keeps them going, the cause that gives their pain meaning is trying to bringing comfort to other wounded people with their humor, wisdom, and unconditional love. Melanie often says, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone on Earth had a Gwok to hold, to love, to talk to, be comforted by, to cry with and to give and receive unconditional love and companionship from?” I am proud to say that I am now part of this little family, and I, too, will be with Melanie, loving and learning from Gwok, until the end of my days.
Pooh once said to his best friend Christopher Robin “If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.” That’s how I feel about Melanie and Gwok. Something tells me we have many more wonderful adventures to come. ■ Pete Feigal has battled clinical depression for 40 years. He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 23 years ago and has lived to "tell his tale." He has spoken nationally more than 1,500 times in the last 15 years to grammar schools, colleges, prisons, corporations, churches, gang youth, reservations, medical professionals and police forces.
Radio Talking Book • June Sampling New schedule begins Radio Talking Book has announced changes in the book lineup beginning in June. In content, only one of the hours will change, though the names of two programs are different. The 2 p.m. nonfiction hour is now The Writer’s Voice but the content will continue to be memoir and biography. The 11 p.m. hour is now Potpourri and will feature a wide variety of nonfiction books. Five books this month have Minnesota connections. Ben Patrick Johnson, author of If the Rains Don’t Cleanse (Choice Reading) was raised in St. Paul. His protagonist is based on his mother who still lives here. Andrew Zimmern, author of The Bizarre Truth (Potpourri) is a columnist for Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine. J.P. White who wrote Every Boat Turns South (Good Night Owl) writes from his home in Deephaven. Both authors of the After Midnight books, Kate Ledger (Remedies) and Cynthia Kraack (Minnesota Cold), live in the Twin Cities. Access Press is one of the publications read at 9p.m. Sundays during the program It Makes a Difference. Books broadcast on the Minnesota Radio Talking Book Network are available through the Minnesota Braille and Talking Book Library in Faribault, MN. Phone is 1-800-7220550 and hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The catalog is also online. Access it by going to the main Web site, http://education.state.mn.us , and then clicking on the link. Persons outside of Minnesota may obtain copies of books by contacting their own state’s Network Library for the National Library Service. Listen to the Minnesota Radio Talking Book, either live or archived programs from the last week, on the Internet at www.mnssb.org/rtb. Call the staff for the password to the site. Chautauqua • Tuesday – Saturday 4 a.m. Our Lot, Nonfiction by Alyssa Katz, 2009. The real estate bubble was the product of a government project trying to make home ownership possible. When it became a reality, people were making too much money to notice the flaws. Read by William Stout. 12 broadcasts. Begins June 15. Past is Prologue • Monday – Friday 9 a.m. The Great Gamble, Nonfiction by Gregory Feifer, 2009. During the Cold War, the Soviets sent elite troops to fight an enemy who defeated their superior numbers with unconventional tactics, a demoralizing defeat. L - Read by Wally Vavrosky. 12 Br. Begins June 28. Bookworm • Monday – Friday 11 a.m. Alis, Fiction by Naomi Rich, 2009. At fourteen, Alis has never been outside her religious community. But when her parents arrange for her to marry their forty-year-old preacher, she runs away. Eventually, she decides to come back and face the consequences, but the return is disastrous. Read by Karen Wertz. 8 Br. Begins June 14.
Choice Reading • Monday – Friday 4 p.m. If the Rains Don’t Cleanse, Fiction by Ben Patrick Johnson, 2009. Eva went to Africa as a missionary. But the world she is now in is entirely unlike her own. Circumstances make her question the faith she came to spread. Read by Pat KovelJarboe. 15 broadcasts. Begins June 21. PM Report • Monday – Friday 8 p.m. Stones into Schools, Nonfiction by Greg Mortenson, 2009. Over the past 16 years, Mortenson and his nonprofit Central Asia Institute have promoted peace through education, establishing more than 130 schools in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Read by Leila Poullada. 12 broadcasts. Begins June 17. Night Journey • Monday – Friday 9 p.m. The Lacuna, Fiction by Barbara Kingsolver, 2009. Born in the United States but reared in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd feels no sense of home. But then he connects with the world of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Lev Trotsky. His life will become significant. L –Read by Marylyn Burridge. 19 broadcasts. Begins June 15 Off the Shelf • Monday – Friday 10 p.m. Little Bird of Heaven, Fiction by Joyce Carol Oates, 2009. When Zoe Kruller is murdered, the two suspects are her estranged husband Delray and her lover, Eddy Diehl. The children of each believe the other’s father is the guilty one. L - Read by Maria Rubinstein. 16 broadcasts. Begins June 30. Potpourri • Monday – Friday 11 p.m. The Bizarre Truth, Nonfiction by Andrew Zimmern, 2009. Andrew Zimmern has a well-earned reputation for traveling far and wide to seek out and sample anything and everything that’s consumed as food globally. He celebrates the undiscovered destinations and weird wonders in our increasingly globalized world. L - Read by Joe Sadowski. 10 broadcasts. Begins June 21. Good Night Owl • Monday – Friday midnight Every Boat Turns South, Fiction by J.P. White, 2009. Matt Younger is a boat delivery captain who returns to Florida from the Dominican Republic to make a confession to his dying father. He and two companions followed a dream that was paid for in lust, betrayal, and violence. V, L, S - Read by Bob Malos. 11 broadcasts. Begins June 22. After Midnight • Tuesday – Saturday 1 a.m. Remedies, Fiction by Kate Ledger, 2009. Simon and Emily look like the perfect couple – he’s a respected doctor; she’s a successful professional. But their marriage is scarred by old wounds. When a lover from Emily’s past resurfaces, she examines her marriage anew. S - Read by Sue McDonald. 14 broadcasts. Began May 27.
The Writer’s Voice • Monday – Friday 2 p.m. Strength in What Remains, Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder, 2009. Minnesota Cold, Fiction by Cynthia Kraack, 2009. Sallie lives Deo came from Burundi in search of a new life. Having in a post-nuclear world, but it is not a world without hope. A survived civil war and genocide, he starts his life in the U.S. post-nuclear incident has led government and large corporawith $200, no English, and no contacts. But he ends up at tions to rule one region of the former United States. V - Read medical school with a life devoted to healing. Read by by Leandra Peak. 11 broadcasts. Begins June 16. Malcolm McLean. 10 broadcasts. Begins June 28. Abbreviations: V=violence, L=offensive language, S=sexual situations
June 10, 2010
NEWS IN REVIEW -
Cont. from p. 6
Paul Parks and Recreation Department, senior meal providers, area clinics and pharmacies and others. Carondolet Village will also develop a campus that includes a nursing facility, assisted living and apartments. The White Community Hospital project combines the members’ separate nursing facility operations into a new corporate entity. Each community will continue to have nursing facility care and a care coordinator/navigator providing a range of services similar to the Carondolet Village project. [Source: Minnesota DHS]
Talent has no boundaries The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy unveiled the official theme for October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month: “Talent Has No Boundaries: Workforce Diversity Includes Workers With Disabilities.” The theme serves to inform the public that workers with disabilities represent a diverse and vibrant talent pool for hire. Early announcement of the theme helps communities nationwide plan a series of events, some of which will continue throughout the year beginning in October, such as proclamations, public awareness programs and job fairs that showcase the skills and talents of workers with disabilities. This theme epitomizes Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis’ commitment to “good jobs for everyone.” Public Law 176, enacted by the Congress in 1945, designated the first week in October each year as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” President Harry S. Truman designated the President’s Committee on Employment of People
with Disabilities to carry out the Act. The Labor Department’s Administrator pleads guilty Office of Disability Employment Policy took over responsibility The former administrator of the Greenwood Home in for National Disability Employment Awareness Month in 2001 Greenbush has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $3,100 [Source: U.S. Department of Labor] from disabled people in 2008. Jane Halvorson, 32, Bemidji, has reached a plea agreement Federal grants awarded that calls for her to serve a month in jail and two years of Elderly and disabled residents in St. Louis Park and Hopkins will supervised probation. Under the agreement, she also has to pay be served with $465,000 in federal grants announced last month by back the money she took and pay a $500 fine. the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). According to a criminal complaint, an employee at the Officials in each city may have felt as if they had won the lottery. And Greenwood Home, which is run by Prairie Community Serin a way they had as the grants are awarded by lottery. vices, discovered discrepancies in the personal accounts of HUD awarded $228,725 to the Hopkins Housing and Rede- seven residents. Four of the residents lived at the Greenwood velopment Authority and $237,000 to the St. Louis Park Home in Greenbush and three at the Crestwood Home in Housing Authority. The cities can use the funds to hire or retain Roseau. The residents range in age from 39 to 58 and have service coordinators who work with public housing residents. disabilities that prevent them from living on their own. The coordinators connect residents with a myriad of other PCS investigated the discrepancies and found that Halvorson, community-based services. The grants are from a HUD Resi- who was in charge of the accounts, had turned in receipts, dent Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency Program. claiming they were from purchases she made for residents. But HUD awarded nearly $28 million in similar grants nation- the items on the receipts did not coincide with what the wide. Hopkins and St. Louis Park are the only Minnesota cities residents needed and what they had in their possession, the receiving the grants. complaint says. St. Louis Park will use its grant to fund its full-time service PCS reported its findings to authorities in September 2008. coordinator, who works with 100 to 130 elderly and disabled An investigator with the Roseau County Sheriff’s office reviewed the findings and concluded that Halvorson had emresidents in the city’s public housing building. In Hopkins, the grant will allow the city to restore its service bezzled money for personal use. Halvorson is set to be sentenced June 14 on a felony charge coordinator to full-time status. The position had been cut to two days a week for lack of funding. With the grant, the 76 residents of financially exploiting vulnerable adults. at Dow Towers will be able to get appointments and their needs [Source: Grand Forks Herald] met in a more timely fashion, she said. [Source: Sun Newspapers, Star Tribune] Humphrey grandchild
Vicky Solomonson dies Cont. from p. 13
(NAMI-MN) sponsors free support groups for families who have a relative with a mental illness. NAMI has 23 family support groups, over 20 support groups for people living with a mental illness, 2 anxiety support groups, and Vet Connection groups for returning soldiers. Led by trained facilitators who also have a family member with mental illness, the support groups help families develop better coping skills and find strength through sharing their experiences. A family support group meets in the St. Paul area at 6:30 p.m., on the second and fourth Wed. FFI: Anne Mae, 651-730-8434. A NAMI Connection peer support group for adults recovering from mental illness meets bi-weekly in Roseville. The free group is sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Minnesota. Trained facilitators who are also in recovery lead NAMI Connection groups. The group meets 6:30 p.m. 2nd and 4th Wed at Centennial Methodist Church, 1524 Co. Rd. C-2 W., Roseville. FFI: Will, 651-5783364, www.namihelps.org Anxiety support group The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota (NAMI-MN) sponsors free support groups for persons with anxiety disorders. The groups help individuals develop better coping skills and find strength through sharing their experiences. An Open Door Anxiety and Panic support group meets in St. Paul at 6:30 p.m., first and third Thu, at Gloria Dei Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S. St. Paul. FFI: NAMI at 651-645-2948 Caregivers support group Parents and caregivers of children with Fetal Alcohol Spec-
trum Disorders (FASD) can join a caregiver’s support group organized by The Arc Greater Twin Cities. The free group meets on the first Tuesday of each month from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. at Arc Greater Twin Cities, 2446 University Ave. W., Suite 110, St. Paul and at 6-8 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at Sabathani Community Center, 310 E. 38th St., Mpls. The group is an opportunity for participants to support one another, share successful parenting techniques, discuss the challenges and hopes of raising a child with FASD, and become better educated about the disorder. The FASD Relative Caregivers Support Group is sponsored by Arc Greater Twin Cities and the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Regional Network. FFI: Janet Salo, 952-920-0855
Volunteer Tutor a Child, Change a Future Volunteers are needed to tutor elementary students in the St. Paul Public schools in reading and math. Under the guidance of a classroom teacher, volunteers assist students one-onone or in small groups determined by classroom need. By contributing as little as two hours per week, you can give a struggling student the extra attention needed to help them succeed. Volunteers age 55 and older are eligible to receive free supplemental insurance, mileage reimbursement and other benefits through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) sponsored by Volunteers of America of Minnesota. FFI: Connie at 612617-7807 or e-mail cerick firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer with RSVP Volunteers age 55 and older are eligible to receive free supplemental insurance, mileage reimbursement and other benefits through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) sponsored by Volunteers of America of Minnesota. RSVP/Volunteers of America of Minnesota and AARP Foundation need volunteers with good budgeting and organizational skills to help manage finances of older or disabled lowincome individuals. Have a few hours a month to volunteer? Money Management Program staff will train and match you with someone in the commu-
nity. FFI: Money Management Program Coordinator, 612617-7821 Be a literacy volunteer Last year, Minnesota Literacy Council volunteers helped more than 24,000 adults achieve their learning goals. Tutor immigrants, refugees and life-long Minnesotans in reading, writing and English. Tutor one-to-one, in a small group or as a classroom assistant. Training, ongoing support provided. Opportunities are available throughout Minnesota. FFI: 651-645-2277, ext 219, volun teer@theMLC.org ■
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Victoria Solomonson, granddaughter of the late U.S. Sen. and Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, died last month. She was 49 and had Alzheimer’s disease. Solomonson had Down syndrome. Her family refused to institutionalize her and her parents, Bruce and Nancy Solomonson, raised her with the help of other family members. “We refused to hide Vicky out of sight in the attic,” grandmother Muriel Humphrey told “This Week” magazine in 1968. Her relationship with her prominent grandfather was a key factor in his championing of special needs program spending and equal protection under the law. She was named “Victoria” because she was born on Election Night 1960, and changed public policy before she turned 10. She lived in various Fraser residences and worked with Opportunity Partners. She grew up playing sports including swimming and horseback riding and loved to bowl. She is survived by three sisters, niece and nephews, and many other family members and friends. ■ [Source: Minnesota Public Radio, legacy.com]
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