Life-saving legislation: A new law to prevent heroin overdose deaths

With more and more fatalities each year, heroin overdose has become a statewide epidemic. Minnesota’s heroin-related deaths in 2013 almost doubled from 2011 and the upward trend continues.

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The one where I pick on the disabled

I was at a meeting a while back about a new parking policy in downtown Saint Paul. The city was changing its policies about handicapped parking. Until very recently, anyone with a handicapped parking placard on their dashboard was allowed to park for free all day downtown.

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Sumer Spika: Home care workers unionize to bring dignity to work we love

On Tuesday, July 8th, I was proud to be part of the group who celebrated turning in thousands of cards signed by Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) and other home care workers from across Minnesota ex

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Transportation and health: Modes matter

Two new scientific studies offer a nice complementary perspective on our transportation choices and their often ignored consequences.

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State Services for the Blind reaches out to people of color

(l-r) Lisa Larges, Annette Toews, and Donna Marhoun, Braille Manager (Photo by Lisa Henrickson)

Over many years, studies have shown African Americans to be more prone to diabetes than Caucasians and to have a higher incidence of diabetes-related vision loss or impairment. The Minnesota State Services for the Blind, a relatively little-known State agency, can help people of color with vision loss or visual impairment, whether diabetes-related or from other causes.

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Whose country is this?

There were many disadvantages to being brought up in a restrictive part of the country in the 40’s and 50’s, even if you were white and middle class. In my mother’s New England, in the broken land and stunning autumn months and soft spring times of my childhood, I was told, in words and gestures from both teachers and parents that I had only a limited role to fill in this world. In my privileged home, oldest of five children, it was assumed that marriage would define me and that it was indeed unseemly of me to want more. I was not denied the chance to explore the world around me, to go on those long hikes I have written about or swim in dangerous water. At the same time I was expected to settle down, and to content myself raising a large family. My mother did not work. I would not work.

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A note on the Hobby Lobby disinformation industry

“The contraceptive mandate, as applied to closely held corporations, violates RFRA.”

Justice Alito for the majority in Burwell v Hobby Lobby.

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Three digital tools to keep you healthy and reduce public health costs

Forbes recently ran an article on the costs (rising) or medical care for baby boomers. One of the costliest aspects of health care if chronic disease…

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Home care workers file for largest union election in Minnesota history

Tyler Frank, who cares for his partner, Nicole, was among the home care workers who spoke at a rally Tuesday after filing for union representation.

Joined by the clients they serve, workers who care for people in their homes filed Tuesday to form a union. Organizing under the slogan, “Invisible No More,” they said a union will improve pay, working conditions and the quality of care.

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Baby steps forward: New law for pregnant inmates

As of July 1, the marginalized lives of pregnant prison inmates are now featured center stage. Minnesota’s new law protecting incarcerated pregnant women went into effect this month.

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