Universal Design Print E-mail

 Aging in Place with Gene Nicolelli


A Video Recorded by John Risken


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Gene Nicolelli is an architect who is certified by the National Association of Home Builders as an Aging in Place Specialist.  You can listen to a recording of the seminar Gene presented at the Think Again Brooklyns forum on November 27, 2018.  When homes, apartments, and condos are built to accomdate people who require wheelchairs either temporarily or permanently, they will often be able to delay the need to live in an assisted living center or a nursing home.  This makes it possible for people to continue living with family members or near friends.  It also makes their living expenses more affordable as living in a home, apartment, or condo costs far less than a nursing home or assisted living facility with care, both of which can run over $9,000 a month.  The high cost of care in either of these institutions is higher than most people can afford so most of the cost is often paid by Medicaid which is likely to result in increased state and county taxes.

The American Association of Retired Persons reports that only one percent of apartments and homes are fully accessible.  For that reason Think Again MN is encouraging municipalities to require new construction to include accessibility standards.  The cost of meeting these standards is very modest for newly constructed dwellings, but can be very high for homes that need remodeling or impossible for many of the split entry homes and three story walk up or down apartments in Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park.


Watch John Risken's video of the seminar.

 

 

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MN Lacks Regulation of Assisted Living Facilities Print E-mail

 


Vulnerable Elders Face Scare, not Care

 

Video by Bill Sorem, Video Producer at the Uptake


The December, 2018, Minneapolis League of Women Voters Civic Buzz presented a discussion entitled, “Vulnerable Elders Face Scare not Care.” A packed house listened and questioned.  Presenters were Kris Sandberg, President of the Elder Voice Family Advocates and Sean Burke, Public Policy Director of the Minnesota Elder Justice Center.  A packed house listened and questioned.

Elder housing is a continuum of care options ranging from independent living housing (rental, condominium or cooperative), assisted living facilities to nursing homes. Nursing homes are licensed by the federal government. On the other hand, Minnesota is the only state that does not license assisted living facilities according to Elder Voice Family Advocates.

Assisted living abuse issues were highlighted in a 2017 series by Chris Serres in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. One of the conclusions of this report was, “Each year, hundreds of Minnesotans are beaten, sexually assaulted or robbed in senior care homes. Their cases are seldom investigated, leaving families in the dark.”

Burke said assisted living facilities involve two components. One is the physical facility, the other the specific care providers. In some cases they are one unit, in others they are separate facility management and staffing groups. Thus responsibility and/or liability are not always clearly defined.  Burke also pointed out that since Minnesota does not license assisted living facilities, there are no clear staffing requirements for training or experience.

Watch the Video

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Immigrants' Contribution to MN's Business Success Video, 2018 Print E-mail

 

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bill blazarBill Blazar, MN Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Business Development, presented an excellent discussion on “Immigrants' Contribution to MN's Business Success” at the April 2018 Think Again Brooklyns forum. Senior residents of Maple Grove who heard about the forum suggested that Think Again MN collaborate with the Maple Grove Senior Center to have Bill present the program again at the Maple Grove Community Center.

 

Kris Orluck, the Senior Program Coordinator for Maple Grove worked with Think Again MN to arrange the forum for September 26, 2018. Think Again MN’s videographer John Risken filmed the presentation so more people could gain the knowledge Bill Blazar shared of the big contribution immigrants are making to MN’s economy and the necessity of reforming U.S. immigration policy.  Watch Bill Blazar's excellent presentation accompanied by informative slides on vimeo. 

 

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Paths to Citizenship Can Reduce Federal Deficit Print E-mail

 

Creating Paths to Citizenship

Can Reduce the Growing Federal Deficit

 

 

As of September 30, 2017, the U.S. budget deficit was $665.7 billion or about 3.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  As a result of the tax bill, the budget deficit was expected to rise to $1 trillion in 2019, which is equivalent of about 4.8% of GDP.  The U.S. budget that was just passed would increase next year’s deficits to about $1.2 trillion. 

douglas holtz-eakin 2How might this big increase in the U.S. budget deficit be reduced?  Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Congressional Budget Office Director under President H. W. Bush and currently President of the conservative American Action Forum, concluded in 2013 that increasing the number of immigrants would reduce the federal deficit by about $300 billion per year or by $2.7 trillion over 10 years

A 2016 Center for American Progress study found that deporting 7 million unauthorized immigrants nationally, about five percent of the U.S. workforce, would amount to a loss of $4.7 trillion in gross domestic product and a loss of $900 billion in federal government revenues. This study concluded that GDP would immediately drop 1.6% and would drop by 2.6% over 10 years. The federal deficit would increase close to a trillion dollars by 2026.

 

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Share Your Ideas for Biking and Walking to LRT Stations Print E-mail

 

Share Your Ideas for Walking and Biking to


Any of the Bottineau Line Light Rail Stations

 

 

Hennepin County Transit leaders would like the suggestions of Brooklyn Park residents who bike or walk near the areas where the Bottineau Extention of the Blue Line Light Rail will stop.  Attendees who attended the March Think Again Brooklyns forum shared their suggestions for biking and walking routes to LRT Stations and you can too.  If you are a biker or walker near any of the future LRT stops, you are likely to have insight into how access to a station can be improved for bikers or walkers. 

 

Before you begin, let me ask you, have you ever seen a bike path along a busy street that rarely has a biker?  Let me give you an example.  When we go to doctors' appointments in Abbott Northwestern Hospital or the Phillips Eye Clinic, we park on Portland or Park Avenues.  I'm usually careful to check if there is a bicyclist coming along the bike path right next to the parked cars, but I have never seen a bicyclist on either of the avenues.  Why is that?  Jay Wallsjasper, who has bicycled in cities across the U.S. has answered that in an excellent short article.

 

 

"Bike Breakthrough: Connecting neighborhoods with low-stress routes"

 

 

Jay Walljasper, November 9, 2017

bike paths protected from traffic

 

Jay emphasizes that bike routes need to be safe, and if they aren’t, people won’t use them.  Most bikers know that they might not fare so well if someone knocks them over by opening their car door on their right when traffic is going by to their left.  Jay includes photos that show how the bike lane should be separated from traffic by a barrier and gives suggestions for making intersections safer for bikers.  Read his short article that will give you insight and inspiration for your suggestions and will remind you of the joys of biking around town.

 

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The Beginnings, Rapid Progress, and Next Big Strides in MN Clean Energy Print E-mail

 

 

A Broad Overview of Clean Energy in MN

With J. Drake Hamilton, Science Policy Director at Fresh Energy

 

 

j. drake hamiltonJ. Drake Hamilton, Science Policy Director at Fresh Energy, gave a review of MN's beginning legislation and rapid progress in developing clean energy to already almost reach goals set for 2025.   At the NW Climate Action forum on May 25th at the Maple Grove Library, J. also gave a preview of the coming energy revolution involving the electrification of transportation, industry, and heating.  If you missed this excellent forum, be sure to get a preview of the coming energy revolution by taking a look at Carol Woehrer's notes capturing the main points of J. Hamilton's presentation.

 

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Equity in the Cities Print E-mail

 

Photos by Wayne Doe - Feeling inspired at Think Again Brooklyns Forum "Equity in the Cities" with presenters Wokie Freeman - Assistant City Manager, City of Brooklyn Park and Joy Marsh Stephens - Equity and Inclusion Manager, City of Minneapolis at the City of Brooklyn Park City Council Chambers on May 16, 2017.

 

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                              Wokie Freeman and Joy Marsh Stephens Answer-              Wokie Freeman Presenting on Equity
                              ing Audience Questions                                                         in Employment, Policies, & Programs
                                                                                                                             in Brooklyn Park

 

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                                                       Joy Marsh Stephens Speaking on Minneapolis Staff's Training in Equity

 

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"Undocumented" is not a state one chooses. Print E-mail

 

 

 

julissa arceJulissa Arce worked her way up to become the vice president at Goldman Sachs by age 27 while being an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. When she gives lectures at colleges and universities, people often ask, "Why don't "illegals" get in the back of the line, and do it the right way?"  She notes that "the line" is a mythical place that distracts from the need for immigration reform.  Most undocumented immigrants cannot complete an application, go through a process, or pay a fine to start the process of becoming U.S. citizens.  Read Arce's CNBC article:  "Here's the myth about being an undocumented immigrant that drives me crazy."

 

 

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NW Business and Employment Opportunity Fair Print E-mail

 

 

Great Business and Employment Resources

at North Hennepin Community College Fair

 

 

Speakers from Everyone In, the City of Brooklyn Park Business Department, the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, the Neighborhood Development Center, and EMERGE together with representative of 18 organizations that hosted tables, provided a wide range of information and resources at the NW Business and Employment Opportunity Fair.  The Fair was held in the Grand Hall of the NHCC Business and Technology Fair the evening of Tuesday, February 21.  It was sponsored by NHCC, Hennepin Technical College, and Think Again Brooklyns with the help of cosponsors incuding the City of Brooklyn Park; Everybody In; the Human Rights Commission; and the Brooklyn Park, Osseo, Maple Grove, and Brooklyn Center Chapter of the League of Women Voters.

 

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Sam Grant, Executive Director of Everybody In, gave the opening talk on Minnesota's worst in the nation disparities between whites and immigrants and people of color.  Everybody In is serving as a clearinghouse for data, insights, and best practices for closing the disparity gap.

 

Seated are the other speakers:  Rob Smolund, Finance Director at the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers; Mohamed Ali, Associate Director, and Fatima Muhammad, Director of Workforce Development, at EMERGE; Teshite Wako, Finance Director of the Neighborhood Development Center; and Adeel Ahmed, Brooklyn Park Business Coordinator.  Michael Birchard, the Chief Diversity and Affirmative Action Officer at NHCC moderated the forum.

 

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nw business and employment opportunity fair jean maierhofer hosting the htc table 22117Left - Jean Maierhofer, Chief Diversity & Affirmative Action Officer at Hennepin Technical College, hosted the college's table at the Fair.

 

Right - Thea Gaither, Client Services Specialist at Women Venture, explained to a Fair attendee the services Women Venture provides for women planning to start or expand a small business.

                                                                                              

Photos by Linda Freemon

 

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Over 100 Attend Westside Progressives Forum on February 21 Print E-mail
Written by Kelly Guncheon   

 

 

The Role of Print, TV, Radio, and Social Media in Today's Society

 

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With Chris Ison - University of Minnesota Journalism Faculty Member

 

chris isonProfessor Chris Ison drew an audience of over 100 people at the Westside Progressives forum at Church of the Epiphany in Plymouth on February 21.  Ison teaches courses in news reporting and writing, investigative reporting, and media ethics at the University of Minnesota. He is co-author, with Jane Kirtley, Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, of the book Media Ethics Today: Issues, Analysis, Solutions. 

Christ Ison was the Assistant Managing Editor for Investigative Projects at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis from 2001-2004.  Before that he was a reporter at the Star Tribune for 15 years. Ison worked on the investigative team, and earlier covered federal agencies, local government, and gambling.

 

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MN's Leading Election System

With Secretary of State Steve Simon

 

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Listen to Secretary of State Steve Simon's excellent presentation on MN's outstanding election system emulated by many other states at the Think Again Brooklyns forum January 19, 2016.  Secretary Simon includes ways in which it can be improved, and he explains why it is important to vote.  He concludes with a quote from a tee shirt:  "Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion.  It is an act of surrender."

Get details on how to vote at http://mnvotes.org

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How Oregon Became the Easiest Place to Vote in the US

By Lornet Turnbull
YES! Magazine
October 8, 2016

 


In January, Oregon became the first state in the country to begin automatically registering eligible citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver's licenses or state IDs, completely shifting the burden of voter registration from the individual to the government. 

Read the Article

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