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Why Not

I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.

Times Gone By

I hope everybody had enjoyable 4th of July Weekend.  I know that the Fech Family did.  As always, the kids enjoyed participating in the Cudahy Parade. My daughter with Lincoln School and the boys with the Cudahy St Francis Little Baseball Association.

My kids asked about the parade I would participate in when I was a kid.  I told them that I walked in the Griffith, Indiana parade with out Little League team or we would ride our decorated bikes.  As always with my kids, a couple of questions turns into numerous questions about my preteen years.

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Cudahy Health Department

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to spend about an hour at the Cudahy Health Department.  While Carol Wantuch and her staff are probably best known for their efforts with the City Evacuation in 2009 and their H1N1 Clinic, so much more goes on in the Health Department.

Today I want to let you know about the Milwaukee County WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Program that has offices within the Cudahy Health Department. WIC falls under the Department of Health and Family Services, a Division of Public Health.  Heidi Zimmer and her staff are ready to serve the needs of the Cudahy Community.  While talking with Heidi, she needed to take a call and she was able to communicate with the other party in Spanish.  I mentioned to her that I was impressed by her ability to communicate with the people in need.

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Family

Today, my wife and I start a string of about 10 days where we will only have 1 kid at home.  The younger 2 left on vacation with their grandparents from Indiana this morning.  The are heading back East, the only 2 scheduled events are the Marine Corps Museum and the Marine Barracks Show, which they saw last summer.  There is the possibility of a stop in Hershey, PA for rides and chocolate. Tyler was asked about going, but since Angie and I were not going to be able to go, my Dad did not feel he could take the care that Tyler needs. My Dad was also taking my sister, who is wheelchair bound with MS.  So my two other kids will be doing some pushing while on vacation.

This morning, I could already feel the difference of getting one kid ready for summer school instead of 3.  No arguments, fights for the bathroom, can I play my DS and she touched me and he looked at me wrong. For those of you with more than one school age kid I am sure you know what I am talking about.  I am sure that after a couple of days, I might start to miss this, but I can tell you, I am going to enjoy the first couple of days.

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Miracle League

As many of you know, we have a Challenger Baseball Disvison right here in Cudahy. With the help and support of the Cudahy St Francis Little Baseball Association we have grown our league from about 8 kids 3 years ago to 23 kids today. Some of the challenges that the the kids face range from Cerebral Palsy, to Down sydrome, from Autism, to Fragile X syndrome and everything in between.

This morning the Brewers, along with the Pepsi Refresh Project, announced they want a Miracle League in Milwaukee.  A Miracle League provides individuals with physical and/or mental disabilities a safe place to participate in baseball. The fields are designed to be accessable for those who are in wheel chairs or are blind.  The restrooms as well as the concession stands are designed with these individuals in mind.

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Stimulus Funds

I was recently sent the following link and I was asked my thoughts.

Here is the original link: http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2010/07/12/sped-stimulus/9290/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=July+13%2C+2010&utm_source=YMLP&utm_term

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Retreat

Today we start our annual Retreat for the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities.  As they have done in the past, the Board tries to spread the retreats around the State so that we can get a feel for what is affecting certain people in various parts of the State.  This year we are in Ashland, WI.

Some people did not realize that Wisconsin is such a large State.  From Cudahy to Ashland, it is about 380 miles.  This will be my first venture to Northern Wisonsin and I am excitied for the trip.  Tuesday night the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa will be hosting a Powwow.

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Are you ready?

As I was driving home yesterday from our BPDD Retreat in Ashland, I turned on the radio, just north of Oshkosh, hoping to catch the Brewer's game.  To my amazement, the news was on the weather.  It seems that for about the fitth time in the last 7 years, we have had the 100 year rains.  I kept the radio on to see what roads were open so I could get my passenger and myself home.

I rode up and back with one of the BPDD Consumers.  She lives on her own on the East Side of Milwaukee, so you can imagine my drive home.

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Happy Anniversary ADA

Happy Anniversary to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

It was 20 years ago today that this very important piece of legislation was signed into law.  The ADA is often compared to the National Civil Rights Act of 1964.  No longer could individuals with any form of disability be discriminated against legally.

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Image

While on my retreat with BPDD in Ashland, WI last week, a Board member asked me why I ran for Mayor earlier this year.  As I shared my thoughts on the lack of economic development and the Wal-Mart project, the subject kept coming back to the image of Cudahy.

When I asked the person what they knew about Cudahy, they mentioned the Patrick Cudahy Fire, crime and the number of cars driving off the cliff into Lake Michigan.

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Because it is Right

Martin Luther King Jr said "Cowardice asks the question: is it safe?  Expediency asks the question: is it politic?  Vanity asks the question: is it popular?  But, Conscience asks the question: is it right?  And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular - but one must take it simply because it is right." 

This speech was made at the National Cathedral just days before his assassination.  While we were in Washington last summer, part of the tour told us that Dr King gave his last speech at the Cathederal before his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech, the night of his assassination.

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