Sunday, May 20, 2007

Senior Citizen Care Issues

My husband has had both knees replaced this year, the 1st on March 14th, the 2nd on May 2. For the 2nd replacement it was decided he should go to a senior rehabilitation center for a few days until he was able to walk about and take care of himself and at the same time begin rehabilitation. The doctor recommended a specific center as the “best in the area”. If this facility is one of the best is considered one of the best in the area, then same on Toledo. The stay was a nightmare. He was to leave Saturday; I went on my lunch hour Thursday and had him released. WE MUST TO DO BETTER THAN THIS!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Zooming in on the Zoo

I was putting papers in the recycle box and came across the photo of the polar bear cub, he is so cute and the children visiting the Zoo are so excited about the cubs. How great for our Zoo. After much controversy in 2005, it seems most of the issues are not resolved and the Zoo is again on an even keel. The new Director must be given high praise for her actions in quieting the polarized, heated debates which took place. I know at the meeting I attended in 2005, the answers were less than straightforward and I was very frustrated at the inaccurate and misleading information being provided. It is difficult to question any aspect of Zoo leadership as residents of Toledo have grown up with the Zoo and it is near and dear to us, so when anything the management does is questioned, it is done so at the risk of appearing to be anti-zoo. The issue of eminent domain was the basis of much of the heated argument and discussion and when we were told they could not take anything by eminent domain, when pressed, the word was changed from "couldn't" to "wouldn't" so in truth, the rezoning does allow seizure of land by eminent domain. Though this is not a major issue for me, the fact that the representatives tried so diligently to indicate it "could not" happen was of great concern and frustration.

I LOVE MY ZOO -- and, thankfully, enough public outcry and debate required the necessary changes and prioritization to ensure the Zoo was put back on the right path to ensure it would remain a wonderful attraction to Toledo. This is just one more example of the effect concerned citizens can have when an institution becomes an issue. Thank goodness.. our Zoo is again thriving!

Formal Announcement of Candidacy

Karen Shanahan for Toledo City Council – District 2 * Committee to Elect Shanahan
3633 Denise Dr. * Toledo OH 43614

NEWS RELEASE May 19, 2007

Shanahan Announces Run for City Council District 2

Toledo, Ohio. Following a martial arts session at Martial Arts Center on Heatherdowns Boulevard, Karen Shanahan announced her candidacy for the Toledo City Council - District 2, for the election in November 2007. She chose this location because she enjoys the practice of martial arts there and because it is a good example of a successful small business in District 2.

Shanahan’s remarks:

I’m Karen Shanahan, here to announce my candidacy for Toledo City Council - District 2. I’m ready to serve and ready to make a difference. Although I’m a relative newcomer to politics, I have life experience that will benefit the citizens of District 2 and all Toledoans.

I’m committed to be your voice on City Council and, when elected, my main goals will be to:

Create the “Rough Roads Repair Registry” of District 2
Balance the city budget, not ask for a family budget balancing act
Bolster Block Watch
Supplement senior citizen support
Stand with Small Business in District 2

1. Create the “Rough Roads Repair Registry” of District 2
Our neighborhood roads need repair. As I create the “Rough Roads Repair Register,” I’m asking every homeowner in District 2 to send an email or call me if a road in our District needs repair.

2. Balance the city budget, not ask for a family budget balancing act
Our residents dig deep into their pockets to fund programs. I’ll ask the questions to ensure the funds are responsibly budgeted.

3. Bolster Block Watch
This is a great resource that encourages neighborhood interaction and security. By meeting regularly, getting better acquainted with our neighbors and receiving input for the Police representative, it increases awareness of what is occurring in the neighborhood and forms a stronger connection with each other.

4. Supplement Senior Citizen Support
Increase awareness of the conditions at the senior care facilities. After my husband recently had a stay in a rehabilitation center, it is obvious we must do better to care for our senior citizens. The services provided were marginal at best.

5. Stand with Small Business in District 2
The Martial Arts Center is a glowing example of a small business success story in District 2. The owners are enthusiastic, positive and energetic, and they continually give back to the community.

Because of the needs of the Reynolds Road corridor, we are going to reorganize the Small Business Alliance and I’ve pledged to lead the formation and implementation of an Action Task Force to tackle and resolve issues for small business in District 2.

I’ve contacted a nationally known economic development advisor who grew up in Toledo. He is willing to offer suggestions and advice to move District 2 forward.

I am a native of Toledo, grew up in the Old South End in a blue-collar family with strong Union affiliations. Rex and I have been married 42 years and have two adult children and one grandchild. I went to college after raising my children and am currently employed as a logistics professional at The Hub Group, where I focus on problem solving for customers from California to Texas to Indiana and other states in the Midwest. I will bring this problem-solving expertise to City Council.

I am Karen Shanahan - and I thank you for showing your concern for our community by joining me today in my run for Toledo City Council – District 2.

Monday, May 07, 2007

FR #1 Walbridge Park Shelter House

What fun we had and so good to have supporters offering encouragement for the campaign. Lisa Renee, Migueal and Emily are such an inspiration and wealth of knowledge. Richard Brown stopped by even though he was getting ready for his fantastic Press Conference kicking off his campaign. He will do well and will be a positive influence on the School Board. Great and many thanks to my daughter, Jennifer House, grandson, Henrik House (9), Margaret and Bob Aton and their grandson Alex (9) and Nancy and Fred Heaney and June Boyd for their tireless help at the event. The most fun of all was watching the 2 9-year old boys singing karoke to "What's New Pussycat" (I did the whoa, whoa, whoa), too funny and they were really sincere and working hard. Gary Anderson, my campaign manager, remains steadfast and diligent in pushing me along.

Next FR... watch out... we're having a disco party with disco ball, DJ and the whole nine-yards. no charge... free will donations at the door and WE WILL ROCK !! Don't miss it... it will be the 3rd week in July.. more to come!!

I'll be on Andover tomorrow canvassing from 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Come join the fun!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

TPS at a Crossroads

The issue of TPS and public education in Toledo is exploding, even today, Dal Lawrence called for the resignation of some TPS Board members and the appointment of 2 ex-officio members. We are at a crossroads of TPS and this is a root cause of the intensity of response to each development, each day. In the Fall of 2006, in my blog, the following proposal was offered: "Hold a summit of educational leaders to include: TPS Superintendent; TPS School Board; TFT President; University of Toledo President; and business leaders of regional major corporations to discuss the probability and processes to implement the following plan: Contract with The University of Toledo to manage TPS educationally, financially and administratively, this would mirror the “charter” school concept. All TPS students would receive financial credits toward college courses at the University of Toledo for each year they complete if they achieve required academic standards", etc.

Some may have objections to having UT involved with TPS in a formal matter; in fact, President Jacobs has stated that is not possible. But I would envision great excitement in our community should TPS fall under an "umbrella" of educational ideas and concepts with UT. It could boost the morale of all involved.

The problems that exist in TPS are multi-layered and extremely complex. We have dedicated, experienced educators and administrators in TPS, but we also have a bureaucracy created by federal, state and local regulations; and because this is a litigious society, protections for TPS employees.

The end result is stifling and as a result, teachers, administrators and children are suffering and families are leaving to find more effective school systems. My wish and prayer is that this is resolved sooner than later; but the status quo will not provide the results needed; rather, creative, innovative partnerships within the community should be used to implement effective changes.