Don’t mess with Texans fixed beliefs

June 30, 2012 at 7:38 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

The GOP platform in Texas opposes any teaching that would tend to make students question their fixed beliefs.

If parents and advisors who hold the challenged beliefs are concerned…are they incapable of using the many many apologetics for fixed belief systems from Fundamentalist Christianity all the way to atheism?  From Buddhism to Objectivism? From socialism to libertarianism?…to present the opposite position?

I can’t believe that there is now a plank in any political platform that says “Don’t question.  Don’t even consider reexamining what you thought you knew to be true.”

It’s the point of the school years to question.

On the conservative side, there wouldn’t be politically active Evangelicals, energized Libertarians, without someone having questioned a previous interpretation of these things.

Many, many of the ‘flower children’ are conservatives now, just as many of those who supported George W. Bush have at least moved into the ‘independent’ column.

To stop the *ability* to make these shifts in thinking by sabotaging the educational process will not serve the purpose you believe it serves.

It will simply educate a generation of people into being lost souls.

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Lorain County Transit- an unacceptable situation

June 29, 2012 at 7:32 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

This went out to the Lorain Morning Journal, Leap (in an abbreviated format), The Lorain county Commissioners and Lorain County transit this morning since I couldn’t get accessible transportation to a meeting to discuss accessible transportation — shakes head —

TDear able bodied County Commissioners, newspaper people, transit folks…to whom this letter is addressed:

Imagine you woke up tomorrow and there were no cars. You didn’t have one, your neighbor didn’t have one, your cousin in Vermillion didn’t have one.

Also no bikes, vespas, or motorcycles. No highway transport of any kind, except for the occasional delayed and underfunded ambulance.

So you could get to medical care sometimes.

But what is the list of things you are completely unable to do?

If groceries aren’t close, that’s shot. What about your pharmacy?

(By accident of location, I am close enough to banking, pharmacy, groceries, and my church to get there in the warm weather….but what about inclement weather, and what about the folk in the county who aren’t as fortunate???)

What about clothing, shoes, or dental care? Glasses?

Never mind the out of reach luxury of visiting friends, taking in a movie, or going to the park. Out to dinner? Forget about it.

That’s the kind of life that many many people with disabilities live in Lorain County right now, and have since 2009 when paratransit and fixed transit disappeared from everywhere in Lorain County except Lorain and Elyria in 2009. (With some exceptions that I’ll detail in a moment.)

It’s important to note also that except for contracted Medicaid HMO services, taxi service is basically contracted out, filled up and unavailable to residents for trips on weekday mornings or afternoons during the school year.

And please don’t bring out that tired old saw: “We don’t have that problem in Lorain County…I never see any folks with disabilities in my business anyway so it’s not my problem.”

The *reason* you don’t see us spending our time or money in your businesses,houses of worship, or homes, folks….is because we *cannot get to them.* If we cannot get to then, how would you ever be able to accurately grasp the scope of the problem?

Some of us do not have friends or family with accessible transport that can step in. It’s not like there’s a lift van in every garage.

We cannot walk where we need to go.

We cannot defray some of our own “cost” to society as we would very much like to do, by full or part time employment, because how in the heck do we get there? One of my neighbors lost a cool job because her transport source became inaccessible to her.

There was a meeting last week for us to voice our opinions about this. Be heard.

Irony of Ironies,

Couldn’t get there to talk about why I couldn’t get there,,,,,

Now….

People on Medicaid waiver do have access to medical transport, At a ridiculously high cost to the state per person per ride….incredibly higher than using a county wide paratransit system if it still existed.

There is a service called Goodwheels, and I salute them for the work they’ve tried to do.

But all they have is a car, and any wheelchair bound person who cannot manage that is out of luck….also you have a hard time booking a trip for when you need to go, since it needs to be at least three weeks out. They *had* two wheelchair accessible vans. No one’s been willing to get those repaired. There are /were also fixed route accessible busses sitting in a lot somewhere, a leftover stimulus purchase from 2009 that *never got used* due to the cuts.

This makes me sick.

There is Rideshare for possible commuting, but again, that’s limited to those who can get into a car.

Cities have community transport vehicles (Avon lake and Avon for example) but we share those resources with seniors, and like Goodwhieels, you have to book a trip at least three weeks out if you have the temerity to use a wheelchair.

In the winter, it’s the worst of all. Made much more homebound by the weather than by our impairments….such a state of body mind and spirit ultimately ends up costing the state more in Medicaid, Medicare or indigent medical dollars because if you’re stuck at home for three months at a time, you might not have the best physical and mental outcomes…

I cannot stress the financial side of this enough. There’ve been studies that indicate that *even* if a person with disabilities is unable to work, the consistent medical follow up, the access to dental and vision care facilities, the mental health benefits of socialization, enough clothes, shoes to get by….the right food…

…end up *saving the state Medicaid dollars in the long run.*

For my part of the county, an accessible dial a ride circulator running three days a week would ease this tremendously….say something that began at Detroit and Abbe linking it to existing LCT routes, , connected up to route 83, served Wal Mart, the library, the Avon Lake Cleveland Clinic Branch, Independence Village, Maximum Accessible Housing of Ohio (Lear and Walker Rd’s) some houses of worship, and the Richard E Jacobs Health Center at 33100 Cleveland Clinic Boulevard (once the Lear Road construction is finished the route would be much more direct….and head out of county to end at Detroit and Crocker and connect up with existing RTA routes without the fruitless attempt to ask Cuyahoga county to recreate a route the’ve cut. Avon and Avon Lake community transport try, but they simply don’t have enough accessible transport space—one van with one spot. And they often have seervices at times when members of the community are unable to use them. If that service could be replaced by a circulator that ran on a every two hours schedule….it would be an amazing start.

I’m unfamiliar with county geography west of Lorain, but folks on that side are suffering the same deficits in ability to move about their lives.

LCT should be tweaked just a little to include Sheffield Vistas as a direct stop on their existing routes as well….there wouldn’t be much cost to that, and it would open up access more fully for those residents

There are also senior/disabled facilities up on Lake Rd that could be served….

Where’s the money???

Well first….continue to *repair * roads of course, but please stop beautifying them for awhile and use those funds to help assure some transit access for those of us unable to drive.

In other words, make sure we can all *use* them before you pretty them up.

Second, readjust your thinking. This is not a “want” this is a definite need. If someone sent me a précis of the budget I’d be happy to debate some “want”s Id find in it that are less important than making sure that all of Lorain County’s citizens can get around in Lorain County.

If we are to be able to handle the activities of daily living, fully exercise our rights to freedom of worship and liberty, if liberty means the freedom to move about one’s own life, then that is a job that *someone* has to step up and do.

Spread the word, please, because many of us cannot.

I thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely,

Jean M. Flynn

Avon Lake

betwixtandbetween@gmail.com

Dear able bodied County Commissioners, newspaper people, transit folks…to whom this letter is addressed:

Imagine you woke up tomorrow and there were no cars. You didn’t have one, your neighbor didn’t have one, your cousin in Vermillion didn’t have one.

Also no bikes, vespas, or motorcycles. No highway transport of any kind, except for the occasional delayed and underfunded ambulance.

So you could get to medical care sometimes.

But what is the list of things you are completely unable to do?

If groceries aren’t close, that’s shot. What about your pharmacy?

I’m one of the lucky ones. By accident of location I am close to church, banking, pharmacy, and groceries.)

What about clothing, shoes, or dental care? Glasses?

Never mind the out of reach luxury of visiting friends, taking in a movie, or going to the park. Out to dinner? Forget about it.

That’s the kind of life that many many people with disabilities live in Lorain County right now, and have since 2009 when paratransit and fixed transit disappeared from everywhere in Lorain County except Lorain and Elyria in 2009. (With some exceptions that I’ll detail in a moment.)

And please don’t bring out that tired old saw: “We don’t have that problem in Lorain County…I never see any folks with disabilities in my business anyway so it’s not my problem.”

The *reason* you don’t see us spending our time or money in your businesses,houses of worship, or homes, folks….is because we *cannot get to them.* If we cannot get to then, how would you ever be able to accurately grasp the scope of the problem?

Some of us do not have friends or family with accessible transport that can step in. It’s not like there’s a lift van in every garage.

We cannot walk where we need to go.

We cannot defray some of our own “cost” to society as we would very much like to do, by full or part time employment, because how in the heck do we get there? One of my neighbors lost a cool job because her transport source became inaccessible to her.

There was a meeting last week for us to voice our opinions about this. Be heard.

Irony of Ironies,
Couldn’t get there to talk about why I couldn’t get there,,,,,

Now….

People on Medicaid waiver do have access to medical transport, At a ridiculously high cost to the state per person per ride…incredibly higher than using a county wide paratransit system if it still existed.

There is a service called Goodwheels, and I salute them for the work they’ve tried to do.
But all they have is a car, and any wheelchair bound person who cannot manage that is out of luck….also you have a hard time booking a trip for when you need to go, since it needs to be at least three weeks out. They *had* two wheelchair accessible vans. No one’s been willing to get those repaired. There are /were also fixed route accessible busses sitting in a lot somewhere, a leftover stimulus purchase from 2009 that *never got used* due to the cuts.

This makes me sick.

There is Rideshare for possible commuting, but again, that’s limited to those who can get into a car.

Cities have community transport vehicles (Avon lake and Avon for example) but we share those resources with seniors, and like Goodwhieels, you have to book a trip at least three weeks out if you have the temerity to use a wheelchair.

In the winter, it’s the worst of all. Made much more homebound by the weather than by our impairments….such a state of body mind and spirit ultimately ends up costing the state more in Medicaid, Medicare or indigent medical dollars because if you’re stuck at home for three months at a time, you might not have the best physical and mental outcomes…

I cannot stress the financial side of this enough. There’ve been studies that indicate that *even* if a person with disabilities is unable to work, the consistent medical follow up, the access to dental and vision care facilities, the mental health benefits of socialization, enough clothes, shoes to get by….the right food…

…end up *saving the state Medicaid dollars in the long run.*

For my part of the county, an accessible dial a ride circulator running three days a week would ease this tremendously….say something that began at Detroit and Abbe linking it to existing LCT routes, , connected up to route 83, served Wal Mart, the library, the Avon Lake Cleveland Clinic Branch, Independence Village, Maximum Accessible Housing of Ohio (Lear and Walker Rd’s) some houses of worship, and the Richard E Jacobs Health Center at 33100 Cleveland Clinic Boulevard (once the Lear Road construction is finished the route would be much more direct….and head out of county to end at Detroit and Crocker and connect up with existing RTA routes without the fruitless attempt to ask Cuyahoga county to recreate a route the’ve cut. Avon and Avon Lake community transport try, but they simply don’t have enough accessible transport space—one van with one spot. And they often have seervices at times when members of the community are unable to use them. If that service could be replaced by a circulator that ran on a every two hours schedule….it would be an amazing start.

LCT should be tweaked just a little to include Sheffield Vistas as a direct stop on their existing routes as well….there wouldn’t be much cost to that, and it would open up access more fully for those residents

There are also senior/disabled facilities up on Lake Rd that could be served….

Where’s the money???

Well first….continue to *repair * roads of course, but please stop beautifying them for awhile and use those funds to help assure some transit access for those of us unable to drive.
In other words, make sure we can all *use* them before you pretty them up.

Second, readjust your thinking. This is not a “want” this is a definite need. If someone sent me a précis of the budget I’d be happy to debate some “want”s Id find in it that are less important than making sure that all of Lorain County’s citizens can get around in Lorain County.

If we are to be able to handle the activities of daily living, fully exercise our rights to freedom of worship and liberty, if liberty means the freedom to move about one’s own life, then that is a job that *someone* has to step up and do.

Spread the word, please, because many of us cannot.
I thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely,

Jean M. Flynn

Avon Lake

betwixtandbetween@gmail.com

.

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I have to admit…

June 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

surprise and shock regarding the SCOTUS decision today.

The Affordable Care Act has been declared constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States.

By Chief Justice Roberts, (hardly a liberal guy), voting with the non-conservatives on the court.

I thank the Solicitor General, accused of ineffective oral arguments…perhaps not.

On the ground it will mean some open doors for access and coverage that do not exist today.

I thank whomever wrote, spoke, blogged, tweeted about this.

A standout: Eve Gittleson New York Healthcare activist.

I thank those in the  left of center media all during the healthcare debate who kept this in the spotlight.: Rachel Maddow, Laurence O’Donnell, some of the time…and yes, even though it’s become  quite unfashionable to praise him now, but Keith Olbermann as well, darnit.

I thank the legislators who worked on keeping this alive.

I thank our Vice President and President for championing this and making it “A Big ___ Deal.

And yeah, I thank the transparent machinations of the insurance lobby too.  To get so many more customers that they can now jack up rates on.

Because we saw that,and we aren’t buying any protestations of noble motives from insurance company boardrooms.  Play nice boys…if you don’t you’re just kicking the can towards Medicare for All…

And the long slow work toward this by the late Senator Edward Kennedy.

And most of all, I thank Wendell Potter, a former private insurance employee who saw how wrong it was that folk had to seek medical care in a barn, and moved to change that.

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A Father’s Night on Hiram Hill

June 17, 2012 at 7:32 AM (Uncategorized) (, , )

See he was driving me back to college probably late in the fall semester of my freshman or sophomore year…He was sober, or near enough when that trip started and once the car died, absolutely stone sober.

I don’t remember the reason the car died.  Out of gas, transmission, overheating (which the dog ugly cream-colored used 1979 Cutlass with the black vinyl hood did often, since it’s heater was perpetually on.  Even in July.)

I think it might have been out of gas, something that was technically his responsibility to monitor.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons he worked so hard to get me where I needed to go.

This was way, way, way before cell phones.

Hiram College (at the time) was a tiny college at the southern end of Northeast Ohio, one block big…it had a post office, a bank, a pizza joint and one closed gas station.  And on a Sunday night while it was snowing, there would have been nothing open anyway.   It didn’t need to be “accessible” for me (on crutches at the time)…it was small enough.

We were stuck halfway up Hiram Hill.  Behind the post office.

It would have been better if we’d  been stuck at the base of that hill near the sports complex…because although that would have been a longer road to hoe, there were stairs set in the last half of that hill.

Back behind the post office, there was nuffin.’ Zip.  Zilch.

It was a small hill, and would have been a moderately annoying scramble for a forty year old able bodied man.   No phones nearby.  Nobody on this remote road.

It was determined I would climb that hill with him. The cerebral palsy couldn’t matter, and I was too big to carry.  I did have on these big nasty men’s work boots, the Hummers of footwear, my winter boots of choice.  Like the blizzard I’ve spoken about before, we held hands and crawled up that hill together.

It was hideous hard.  It seemed to take approximately 2000 years to get up that hill.  All I remember was his yelling.

My perception was, I couldn’t do it.  I was going to fall, I was going to get hurt I was going to freeze out there….and there was so much god dammed ice, my true nemesis.  If my feet couldn’t get a purchase, my arms wouldn’t be able to do the job of yanking me another few feet.  But his yelling was annoying and encouraging and resolute all at once and I got up that hill…  I believe my crutches were still in the car, so the next phase was a careful walk across that icy campus, both hands holding tightly on to my Dad’s hands, once he’d called my Mom…

When I got to my dormitory, all I remember wanting is to get into my room with that rackety steam heat and warm up. I wanted my Dad to come in as well, and he did, to warm up and repeatedly express his regret.

I could tell there would be unpleasant negotiations and repercussions between my divorced parents once Mom got there forty five minutes later…to retrieve my stuf f and figure out how to get the car towed.

But he did what had to be done…a night in that car would have been worse than that scramble…a flash of caretaking in the middle of his alcohol driven irresponsibility…

So even if your Dad isn’t perfect, or is no longer with you, as my father is not.

Dust off some of the times he did right by you…dust them off and look at them on this father’s day, and they’ll illustrate what being a Dad is about.

Celebrate Dad.

 

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Animal Crackers

June 14, 2012 at 4:33 AM (Uncategorized) (, , )

The conversation in the early mornings between Regina the Doe Princess and LexitheSchnauzer usually goes like this:

Regina with a look of disdain: Seriously? Barking at me? I outweigh you by approximately eight to one, you little anke-biter.

LexiTheSchauzer: Butbutbut (barking) I wanna be a Real Predator!!!!!!!!! I wanna Bring You Down!!!!!!

Regina: I also notice that Human on the Moving Wheelchair has you on a leash, and I can do the math. I know exactly how long that thing is. So I’ll just carefully step with my dainty feet…just out of reach…to drive you Crazy………..Bwhahaha!

Eventually Lexi lowers  her head and heads towards Inside.
I say to her: S’okay kid. You’re still the Terror of Grasshoppers Everywhere.

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