Adverse assumptions

“Hey, I didn’t want to assume anything,” was the boisterous waiter’s only response. No matter how many time we attempted to point out his transgression, he would just deflect us with jazz hands and say, “Like I said, I didn’t want to assume anything.”
Continue Reading

St. Paul’s adult swim program makes a splash with African Americans

When Oxford Pool in Saint Paul reopened as Great River Water Park in 2008, the lifeguards were constantly saving weak swimmers. According to Adam Zirzow, Aquatics Facility Supervisor, it was as if, during the two years the pool was closed, rather than take swim lessons at elsewhere, Oxford pools users just bided their time.If you like this article, see COPACETIC CONVERSATIONS | Can’t swim–it’s never too late to learn”We probably had as many as twelve rescues a month,” said Zirzow. “People just didn’t realize their own limitations.” A push was made to encourage parents to enroll their children in swim classes; the Friends of Oxford Pool awarded scholarships for free swim lessons to families in need. Today, according to Zirzow the rescue rate has dropped substantially. Continue Reading

Can’t swim–it’s never too late to learn

From my hotel room window, I stared at an African American woman trying to escape the blazing Florida heat by cooling off in in the pool. However, something seemed a bit odd. This adult woman was struggling to keep her upper body submerged in waist deep water. Too shallow to stand up, yet too deep to sit down, she unsuccessfully tried stretching out horizontally on the pool stairs. Continue Reading

Hennepin County JDAI reduces youth detention; still stymied by racial disparity

“Once juveniles are initially detained, then they are more likely to stay detained; more likely to end up in out-of-home placement,” said Lucy Wieland, Hennepin County Juvenile Judge and co-chair of the county’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. JDAI strives to make sure the detention center is used to detain only those juveniles who actually pose a risk to the community rather than as a catchall for all juvenile offenders. “Detention ends up setting off a whole chain of events that are negative,” Wieland said. “It’s not to say there aren’t kids who belong in secure detention, there are. But, you want to make sure they are the kids who are dangerous and pose a risk to public safety.” Continue Reading