Statewide Adverstising

Elizabeth Reishus

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

October 2009 has been designated National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic Violence still remains one of those dirty little secrets no one wants to talk about. But the fact is, it happens.

Violence or abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional and/or financial.
Murders make headlines in papers and lead stories on the news, but the domestic abuse is more than murder. In fact, that is what makes it so frightening. It can sneak up on you.

I didn’t see it coming. The abuse started with mind games. I was wrong about almost everything. I was constantly criticized. After a while, I felt like I couldn’t do anything right.

I did not experience a lot of physical abuse, but the threat loomed large and unspoken. The emotional abuse and humiliation took a toll on my self confidence, which fed into the cycle of abuse. The first time I was hit, I was stunned. I didn’t know what to think. By then, I was beat up mentally.

When I finally had the courage to leave, I was lucky to have family and friends who supported me.

Unfortunately, we seem to have a culture that still accepts domestic violence as normal.

Consider these facts:
• 90-95 percent of domestic abuse victims are women.
• On average more than three women are murdered my their husbands or boyfriends everyday in the U.S.
• In eight states, being a victim of domestic violence is considered a “pre-existing condition” and therefore a reason for insurance companies to charge a higher premium or deny coverage.
• Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend.
• Fathers who batter mothers are two times as likely to seek sole custody of their children. 40 to 60 percent of men who abuse women also abuse children.

To get help or give help, please contact the Committee Against Domestic Assault (CADA) at any of the following numbers: Crisis Line 1-800-477-0466; 24 Hours (507) 625-3966; Minnesota Relay 711; Business (507) 625-8688. Or contact the Le Sueur/Sibley County Victims Services at 507-237-5977.


Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

I have heard comments around town about kids on bikes darting out into traffic and riding on the wrong side of the road.

C’mon kids, you know better. And if you don’t, here is a little review.
Bicycles are a green form of transportation and a great way to exercise. But did you know that a bicycle is considered a vehicle?

That’s right, bicyclists are required to follow the same laws that other street vehicles follow. Bicyclists must stop at stop signs and lights, drive in the same direction as traffic, and use turn signals. In fact, if you are ticketed for violating a stop sign while biking, it shows on your driving record as a violation.

There are other safety and  rules of the road/trail/crosswalk to remember, too.

When riding on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk, yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and call out to them when preparing to pass.

Stop before entering a public road and signal before proceeding into the roadway.

Parents, teach your child the safe way to make a left turn, please! (1) Dismount on the right side of the bike. (2) WALK the bike across both intersections. (3) Remount the bike on the right side of the bike.

Riding bike is a great way for children to experience the freedom to travel without their parents transporting them, but adults need to provide instructions on safety and rules.

For more information on bike safety and laws, please refer to Minnesota’s Depart-ment of Transportation Web site

Support for healthcare reform

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Until now, I have avoided stating anything too political or polarizing in this column. Now, I feel compelled to speak up in support of health care and health care coverage reform.

I am not going to claim to have all the answers here, folks. I am just saying that the status quo has to change.

In the past few weeks, we have published at least three ads for families holding benefits for families who have a loved-one fighting cancer. In other area papers, I have seen stories about fund-raising events for victims of other illnesses or accidents who need our help. The bulletin board at the Post Office is covered in posters, many advertising fund raising events for those who cannot afford the costs of being sick and getting well.

While people and personalities bicker on television, on radio, on the Web and in print, people are losing their life savings and their homes just because they had an injury or illness. These people need help now!
I believe that making sure every individual receives top-notch, affordable healthcare is the moral thing to do.

Al Nephew, my college ethics professor wrote a book called, “Inter Dependence Ethics.” His philosophy is that since we humans are interdependent, all our ethical decisions should be based on this fact.
He cited studies of babies in orphanages. These babies had all their physical needs met, but they didn’t grow physically, because they were not emotionally bonded to other people. What we learned from these situations is that we need human interaction to thrive and survive.

In other words, our survival depends upon our interdependence. If we don’t take care of each other, we are all doomed.

Therefore ensuring that everyone has his or her medical needs met, is a moral imperative.

The Christian Bible tells us of the importance of loving one another. Do unto others. Love your neighbor. But perhaps the cast of High School Musical said it all when they sang, “We’re all in this together.”

Befriend your public library

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

It’s probably no secret that I am a fan of public libraries. I have had library cards in Pine, Roseau, Pennington, Wright, Kanabec, Brown and Sibley counties. Where else can you find so much information and entertainment in one place? And for little or no cost!

But although library services are free to the public, it is not free to run a library. That’s where the Gaylord Friends of the Library come in. This group of volunteers holds events to raise support and funds for the library.

The Friends of  the Library are currently sponsoring its Sixth Annual Basket Auction. The items available for silent auction are on display at the library in downtown Gaylord. Themes for the gift baskets run the gamut from ice cream sundaes to holidays to rainy day with Grandma to Harry Potter to NASCAR.

Bidding started earlier this week and ends Monday, evening October 5. On that evening, the Friends will host the annual Author Night. The authors featured, Rae Katherine Eighmy and Debbie Miller, co-wrote a cookbook called “Potluck Paradise.” The book features classic dishes from days gone by. It is part cookbook, part history book.

Organizers of the fund raiser decided it would be fun to have a retro potluck themed dinner that night. This idea combines two of my favorite things, books and food. How great is that?

If knowledge is power, then libraries are our ultimate power source. I, for one, am proud of what a great library we have in our little town. I hope others agree and will see fit to support it.

Drivers needed!

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

A woman I know called and asked me to put in a plug for Meals on Wheels, so here goes.
Meals on Wheels needs your help. The Gaylord Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteer drivers to help deliver meals to seniors in The City of Gaylord.
According to The Meals on Wheels Association of America Web site, “Meals On Wheels programs provide nutritious food, warm conversation and regular safety checks to hungry seniors in urban, suburban and rural communities all over the country. They deliver meals to hungry seniors in your community…but they need your help.”
In Gaylord, the local churches share a schedule to deliver the meals. I was told that Sibley County Faith in Action helps as well.
If you would like to deliver a warm smile and a warm meal to  seniors who could use both, check with your church for volunteer information. If you don’t have a church, I am pretty sure any of the local churches would still be happy to put you on the driving schedule.

Labor Unions: The Folks Who Brought You the Weekend

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Labor Day for Minnesotans generally marks the end of summer vacation and the beginning of the school year. But that’s not exactly why it was established.

Labor day was established to honor the working people—the laborers—of this country who have made it prosperous. It can also be a time to remember that organized labor brought us many of the work-place protections we take for granted now.

The early history of the labor movement was a bloody one. Demonstrations ranged from peaceful gatherings, to noisy riots. Workers were beaten, shot and sometimes killed fighting for the right to decent working conditions and fair wages. Our five-day work week is just one example of the achievements of the labor movement. In the days before labor unions, the factories and mills in cities across this country had signs that read: If you don’t come in on Sunday, don’t bother coming on Monday.

Early labor groups and other “agitators”—as they were often called— led the fight to end child labor, establish the right to form unions and collective bargaining for wages and benefits and improve workplace safety. Later on, labor unions supported the fight to pass the Civil Rights Act and Title VII, eliminating job discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender or national origin.

If you think minimum wages, unemployment insurance and paid sick leave are important, thank the labor movement.

The eight-hour day finally became the national standard in 1938, when the New Deal’s Fair Labor Standards Act made it a legal day’s work nation wide. The slogan for the eight-hour work day was: “Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will!” Sounds like a well-rounded life.

Whether you spend the weekend, camping, fishing, mowing your lawn, or doing nothing in particular, take a minute to think of the men and women who worked so hard to bring you the weekend.

The right to vote should never be taken for granted

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

In late August 1920 the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified and finally adopted. It states simply “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

Sometimes we forget that this great democracy of ours didn’t always include “liberty and justice for all.”

I found a time line on the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership Web site with some interesting highlights:

• 1872 In Rochester, NY, Susan B. Anthony registers and votes contending that the 14th amendment gives her that right. Several days later she is arrested.

• 1873 At Anthony’s trial the judge does not allow her to testify on her own behalf, dismisses the jury, rules her guilty, and fines her $100. She refuses to pay.

• 1874 In Minor v. Happersett, the Supreme Court decides that citizenship does not give women the right to vote and that women’s political rights are under the jurisdiction of each individual state.

• 1917 Members of the National Woman’s Party picket the White House. Ninety-seven suffragists are arrested and jailed for “obstructing traffic.” When they go on a hunger strike to protest their arrest and treatment, they are force-fed.

• 1918 Women of Austria, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Scotland, and Wales are enfranchised.

• 1919 Women of Azerbaijan Republic, Belgium, British East Africa, Holland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Rhodesia, and Sweden are enfranchised.

• 1920 Henry Burn casts the deciding vote that makes Tennessee the thirty-sixth, and final state, to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment. August 26: The Nineteenth Amendment is adopted and the women of the United States are finally enfranchised.

The right to vote should never be taken for granted. Never forget the men and women at home and abroad who fought for it and continue to protect it.

Shop local

Friday, August 14th, 2009

My friend at a local shop was teasing me about promoting the MVAC thrift shop instead of her shop. I explained that it was simply because the MVAC store in those other towns, sponsor programs that benefit people locally. Continue reading »

My First Hub Column (April 2009)

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

I admit it. I habitually procrastinate. I put things off as long as I can. I didn’t get a driver’s license until I was 22. I didn’t finish reading “Wind in the Willows” until I was an adult. And I never did get around to seeing “Titanic.” Continue reading »