Editor's Column - January 1991

HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone. I hope 1991 brings you wellness and happiness.

With the beginning of a new year, I am reminded of all the great things that happened in the last year, from the passage of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), the election of Paul Wellstone, to a local advancement in service in our own Metro Mobility – Trip Assurance, for example. There were many more and a large number of people worked very hard to help advance the opportunities for people with disabilities. We owe you all a debt of gratitude. Let’s not rest on these accomplishments. Much more needs to be done. The only way we are going to be truly integrated is to continue to let our voices be heard. There are a number of ways you can do that and also levels of involvement, but you do need to let the “People in Power” know. It can be as easy as just calling, writing letters or lobbying our legislators. As you can tell by the things that happened in 1990, you can make a difference.

Some of the things you should keep in mind for 1991: the country, states, and local governments are being faced with budget problems, and many feel the “way out” is to cut many social programs we all rely on. We must continue to show people that a person with a disability can, with a little help, become a productive and valued member of society. The ADA is a step in that direction. We still need to make sure the ADA is taken seriously and one way we can do this is to support senators like Dave Durenburger with his legislation “ADA II” (Americans with Disabilities Act part 2). This legislation puts some penalties in place to make sure the ADA becomes the “Civil Rights Act” many believe it to be. The year ahead of us is not going to be an easy one. If you want to make sure 1991 is even better than 1990, become involved on some level.

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The December “Metro Memo” (Metro Mobility’s Newsletter) just arrived at my house. It has a notice to the riders effective January 1st, 1991 regarding the Trip Assurance program. It appears Metro Mobility just realized that riders of their service are similar to the mainline riders. We like to go to work, school and shopping at “peak” hours, 6:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Is this a surprise? Instead of asking the riders to “be more flexible in their scheduling”, why can’t Metro Mobility ask the providers to add more vehicles to the system during these peak times. It seems to work on the mainline bus system.

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In this issue we take a look at some of the fitness programs available to you in the metro area. I know many of us find it difficult to stay physically active, but the opportunity is there, and hopefully you can find something of interest for yourself. We couldn’t cover all of the great programs which exist in our community; if we didn’t list yours, let me know!

The Minnesota Zoo gives you the chance to enjoy the winter without getting cold. If you feel that “cabin fever” syndrome creeping in, fight back. If you can visit the Zoo on the second or third Tuesday of the month its FREE!

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I need to make public apology to Peter McLaughlin. There is only one “G” in his name. Sometimes we look right past the most obvious mistakes. It won’t happen again, Peter.

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