Madison Public Library Not Prepared For Alzheimers Request

As Powers of Attorney for a friend of ours with Alzheimers Disease we encountered a most remarkable turn of events on Monday.  After having stopped at an insurance company on the Capitol Square and obtaining a renter’s insurance policy for him, and also getting the proper check from a downtown bank to pay for the policy from our friend’s account, we headed to the next place on our schedule. 

The Madison Public Library. 

We wanted to be linked to his library account so that we could be placed on an email alert notice for when books that our friend had checked out may not have been returned on time.  We wanted the email notice to be sent our way so we could insure matters were all handled as they should be.  Surely there could be no problem with an email alert and getting us linked to his account.  After all, we had already arranged almost every other account, including matters with his doctor, in such a fashion to insure that our friend has less worry at this stage in his life.  Remember that before we arrived at the library we had completed financial transactions at an insurance company and a bank.  We were sure that this matter at the library would be handled in a few keystrokes at the front desk.

Oh no!  Not so fast.

The lady who heard our request was pleasant, but very unsure how to proceed, and had to ask her supervisor.  About two minutes later she returned to tell us that there was no way, in spite of us having all the forms that were signed and notarized granting power of attorney, that the library could place our email into the account without having our friend in person to OK the matter.    Having just had the insurance company, and the bank both deal with the needs we presented without hesitation, and then have the library reject the request of making sure overdue books get returned, was nothing short of amusing.

I may be a midwestener, but I am no longer shy about saying things about issues that make no sense once they are presented to me.  I asked if they ever dealt with people who had Alzheimers, or folks such as ourselves who sought to help a friend with the disease–friends mind you armed with 28-page legal documents granting us every authority under the sun.  She informed us that she had never been presented with such an issue. 

I then thanked her for being a ‘forward thinker’ on this matter.

Others have argued that the library was really just trying to protect our friend’s right to privacy at the library.  I am sure that this is the case.  The library shouldn’t just allow a stranger to come in and ask for information about someone else’s reading habits.  The fact though that we were legally endowed to be making this sort of request with 28-pages of legal text in hand to prove it is what frustrates.

Our friend visits the library often, and there is no problem having him there with us to complete what is needed to be done.  The problem is the needless hurdle put in place to remind someone with this disease that they are not able to live life like they once did.  That is why the power of attorney was granted–so that we could do things for him that will allow him to live life and concentrate on the matters he needs to for his health.  By our doing things and making arrangements per his request, and doing them out of his sight, is a more proper way to handle these affairs.  There should be no reason for the Madison Public Library to have more concerns about an email than the insurance and bank did with the other matters with which we dealt.

Pennsylvania Mayors Take On Guns

This is what more gusty politicans need to do! 

Win or lose, the constitutional challenges to local gun laws in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and other Pennsylvania communities appear to be helping build grassroots pressure on Harrisburg lawmakers to follow New Jersey’s lead and enact tougher statewide gun-control measures.

Even as the latest court ruling dealt a blow to Philadelphia’s 2008 gun laws, Lancaster became the eighth town to enact its own requirement that owners must report lost or stolen weapons.

In addition to Philadelphia, officials in Pittsburgh, Allentown, Reading, Easton, Pottsville, and Wilkinsburg have adopted such ordinances in hopes of forcing the hand of lawmakers who toe the National Rifle Association line.

Those may be baby steps compared with Jersey lawmakers’ final approval Friday of a monthly handgun purchase limit. But Pennsylvania’s laws are an outgrowth of a smart push by the national group Mayors Against Illegal Guns and gun-control advocates to move the issue.

Nearly 100 mayors across the state have signed on to support legislation to stem illegal gun sales. The mandate to report missing guns is a tactic to expose traffickers who use networks of legal buyers to acquire weapons.

Mayors, including Philadelphia’s Michael Nutter, are the ones who have to live with the carnage due to the easy availability of handguns in so many communities. As Reading Mayor Thomas McMahon told an Inquirer reporter recently, their view on gun deaths is “enough is enough.”

With that much resolve from a growing number of local officials, it almost doesn’t matter that the court challenges from the National Rifle Association pose an uphill battle for these laws.

A 1996 ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted the General Assembly the exclusive right to regulate firearms. It was no surprise, then, that Commonwealth Court upheld a lower-court ruling that struck down a city ban on assault weapons and one-gun-a-month purchase limits.

As it happened, the city did come away with something: The court left untouched the city’s lost-and-stolen reporting requirement, its restrictions on gun ownership by people under domestic-abuse court orders, and its right to seize weapons when someone is regarded as a threat. That’s for now, since the case likely is headed to the state Supreme Court.

But the important thing is that the yearlong legal challenges haven’t dampened enthusiasm for gun-control measures. In fact, the opposite has occurred. That’s a drumbeat for reform that state lawmakers can’t ignore forever.

“As-It-Happened” Footage From CBS, With Walter Cronkite Reporting On The Historic Moon Landing Of Apollo 11

I was seven years old and my entire family gathered at my grandparents 40 years ago this evening and watched this event unfold.    This is what we watched with CBS News and Walter Cronkite.  After it was over and we passed the lilac bush on the south side of my grandparent’s house my older brother looked up and convinced me that the dark craters visible to us was the dust kicked up by the astronauts.  I do not recall how he spun the story days later when the ‘dust’ was still visible.

Millionaires Should Help Pay For Health Care

I really do not see the issue here as being one that is not fair or just.  Folks that are more than comfortable living the American Dream should also feel some responsibility to help pay for the great needs of the nation. Health care for all is obviouslya major issue these past many years and requires to be addresses.  For the past eight years the wealthy benefited greatly from the tax cuts that were provided to them for their political support to the Republican Party.  Now it is time that they return some of the money to the nation.  House Speaker Pelosi has refined her views on the way to fund health care and there is no one that can argue this is not an equitable means to achieve the desired goal.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told POLITICO in an interview that she wants to soften a proposed surcharge on the wealthy so that it applies only to families that make $1 million or more. The change could help mollify the conservative Democrats who expect to have a tough time selling the package back home. Their support is the single biggest key to meeting the speaker’s goal of having health care reform pass the House by the August recess. The bill now moving through the House would raise taxes for individuals with annual adjusted gross incomes of $280,000, or families that make $350,000 or more. “I’d like it to go higher than it is,” Pelosi said Friday.

The speaker would like the trigger raised to $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for families, “so it’s a millionaire’s tax,” she said. “When someone hears, ‘2,’ they think, ‘Oh, I could be there,’ because they don’t know the $280,000 is for one person. It sounds like you’re in the neighborhood. So I just want to remove all doubt. You hear ‘$500,000 a year,’ you think, ‘My God, that’s not me.’”