Editor’s Column – September 2001

Becklund Home Health Care, one of the largest home health care providers in Minnesota, and a long-time friend of Access […]

Becklund Home Health Care, one of the largest home health care providers in Minnesota, and a long-time friend of Access Press, was sold last month. Founder and owner Rhoda Becklund sold the agency to a company called Intrepid U.S.A. Intrepid U.S.A. has been based in the Twin Cities since the early 90s. New Horizon and Shamrock Health Care and several other businesses in 22 other states are owned by Intrepid. Rhoda Becklund will remain with the company in a capacity that is not certain as we go to press. In next month’s paper we will have further information on this major sale and what it might mean for the community.

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A big thank you to Arc Minnesota for their article on this page that points out the likely effects of the upcoming state employees’ strike on people with disabilities. We can’t prepare ourselves if we don’t know what is coming at us, and Arc has supplied some important information for the community as the State gears up for a likely work stoppage.

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Advocating Change Together sponsored a visit last month by first-term Congresswoman Betty McCollum to meet with the community. New Access Press staff member Laurie Anderson reports on that visit on page 3. The first term is often a key time to meet with our elected officials, as they are usually learning on the job, and their understanding of the needs of the community is shaped by these early meetings, as well as the letters and calls that we send their way. Thank you, ACT!

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More news on our front page this month on the changes in state law brought about by the recent state legislative session. Thank you to Anne Henry and the folks at the Disability Law Center for spelling out what some of these changes mean to people in the community. While our reports include quite a bit of detail, and this sometimes is confusing to some readers, we think it is important to put down in black and white exactly what was done to and for people with disabilities. The law is full of details, and each of those details has an effect on people’s lives.

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The National Courage Award was presented to Janet Reno on Aug. 25th at the annual Celebration of Courage; see page 8. Former Attorney General Reno eloquently accepted the award with a speech suggesting “Possibilities not Disabilities.” Ms. Reno delivered a very moving speech and granted Access Press an interview earlier that day that I will elaborate on in our next month’s issue.

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Needless to say, Access Press has been going through a difficult time of transition over the past few months.

The work of transitioning to a new office, a new editor, and a new era without Charlie Smith at the helm has been difficult, to say the least! Now, we think it is time to invite our supporters over to our new office to meet the new crew and see the new office. I’m looking forward to meeting all of you, so mark October 11th on your calendars, since that’s the date for the Access Press open house see page 9 for details on the event. See you there!