Well, I guess to start off with, this is going to be my last Stylus. I gave our State President the news yesterday. Just too many things going on that take up too much of my time.

It has been a very interesting 2-plus years that I have been doing this, and in a lot of ways I will miss it, but this is just something I have to do.

It looks like the Convention is starting to come together, there is an article on the next page from Deb Marinos concerning the Convention.

The next State Board meeting will be July 22, 2006 in Eugene. Sorry, but I donít know any more than that about it. I will try to learn more before I take this to the printers.

Well, I havenít heard from anyone else, and since we are going to be gone for a few days, I am going to the printer with this.

I wish the best of luck to my successor, and thank all of you for putting up with me.

Submitted by Deb Marinos

Great News! The American Council of the Blind of Oregon State Convention, "Adventures in Advocacy" will be in Salem this year.

October 19-21, 2006 Salem, OR Conference Center 200 Commercial St SE Salem, OR 97301

In addition to approximately 75 member attendees we will be inviting the local educators, visually impaired community, seniors and legislators. Our theme for the convention this year will be on advocacy. We will have workshops, panel discussions and ample opportunity to network with peers and professionals. We hope to educate visually impaired individuals to the opportunities and services available in the area.

We will advertise statewide with direct mailings and in the local newspapers. Please invite your friends and family. Also help with publicity by asking your contacts to include the convention in their newsletters or web pages. There are many folks who have or soon will have folks with "eye troubles". Many of these don't realize the opportunities available for them to continue living normally in spite of failing eye sight. Besides that we plan to have fun!

There will be a vendor reception on Thursday evening from 6-9:00PM for attendees. The Vendor Exhibits will also be from 10A-6P on Friday and Saturday. Pre-Post Tours to either Oregon Gardens or Willamette River Cruise are also being planned for Thursday/Sunday for those that will be able to make it. In Addition there will be a tour of the State Capitol and Oregon School for the Blind on Friday afternoon as part of the program.

Tentative Program for Fall Convention- subject to change and additions
Thursday October 19, 2006 Pre-Tours TBA
5:30PM Registration Conference Center ground floor
6-9pm Exhibitor Reception/Exhibits light snacks planned
8-9PM ACB of O Board Meeting

Friday, October 20th, 2006
8:30 A.M. convening of convention;
8:32 A.M. Bob Johnson Pledge of Allegiance with Color Guard
8:33 A.M. Invocation
8:35 A.M. Introductions
8:45 Speaker: What is an advocate? Northwest Advocacy Center
9:15 Panel: Advocacy Topics
10:45 AM Break exhibits, etc.
11:45 AM Lunch with Legislators/Agency Representatives Round tables
1:15 PM Workshops: How to be your own advocate, Pedestrian Safety, etc
2:15 PM The future of the School for the Blind Don Ouimet
3:00 PM Tour to the State capitol and OSB

Saturday Morning:
8:30 AM Pledge of Allegiance: Bob Johnson and color Guard
8:35 AM Invocation and honoring deceased members:
8:40 AM Roll Call of Chapters
8:43 AM Nominations for Elections: to be read
8:45 AM Investments Report - Morgan Stanley
9:15 AM Car Donations Report & donations program fundraising
9:45 AM Oregon Commission for the Blind, Talking Book and Braille Services, Oregon School for the Blind Update
10:15 AM Meeting Independent Living Resources, Blindskills Inc., Braille-plus and other exhibitors:
10:45 AM Voters' Access how did it work?
11:15 AM Break
12:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Annual Business Meeting

6:30 PM No Host Bar for Banquet
7:00-9:00 PM Banquet

Sunday AM Post Tours

Lodging is available at the connected Phoenix Grand Hotel
1-877-540-7800. Special rates are available by stating "American Council of the Blind" until September 1 ranging from $99 + tax (two person occupancy, +$25 extra person) and up. A generous breakfast is included in the room cost. The rooms are very spacious with separate sitting rooms and couches. All have microwaves and refrigerators. Please let me know very soon about your lodging requests, so I can be sure to have enough rooms blocked out. There are other hotels in the area, but not in walking distance. The address for the hotel (other side of the block) 201 Liberty St. S., Salem, OR 97381

Transportation to Salem from Portland and surrounding areas can be done for $2 by using the SMART or CARTS bus system. Also Amtrak (bus or train 12 blocks) - or Greyhound (8 blocks) have stations in Salem. There is also airport limousine service through HUT 503-364-4444, round trip is $63.00 PDX to Red Lion in Salem. The suggestion was made to talk to your local Lions Club and see if someone there will volunteer to transport folks. Apparently there is some interest. If you are ADA eligible and get to Salem, there is a Wheels/Cherry Lift transportation available 503-585-5187. They would like one week notice and rides are about $2 each way. The Phoenix Grand Hotel also has a complimentary shuttle service if you are staying with the hotel. I'm hoping that folks communicate with me, so we can coordinate picking folks up at the same time when possible. It seems that there is a van pool option that might work from Corvallis/Eugene area. Let me know!

Respectfully submitted,
Deb Marinos, Convention Chair
PS, Any suggestions or contributions to information are appreciated.
Please email privately to

Commission's Corner

Charlene, has It Really Been Six Years?

Six years is the maximum length of uninterrupted service time that an Oregon Commission for the Blind Commissioner can serve and Charlene Cook has done it to the max. As a governor appointee, representing business, Charlene took her place on the Commission Board in the summer of 2000. The Board has three primary functions; setting policy, budget responsibility, and the hiring and oversight of the Administrator.

When asked what she considered as significant during her years as a commissioner, Charlene recalled that one of the first tasks was to hire an administrator. The Board's nationwide search ended right back at the agency's doorstep when the Commissioners appointed Linda Mock to replace the retiring Chuck young who had held the position for more than two decades. One notable change in the board's role during her tenure was the taking on of greater budget oversight, something not previously required. In keeping with this spirit of greater board involvement, she and her fellow Commissioners and the Management Team began annual 2-day long strategic planning meetings. We are not a rubber stamp board," says Charlene. "We are a proactive team, proud of our agency and the people we serve."

Charlene's indomitable enthusiasm and vast knowledge of blindness issues has been an invaluable asset to the Commission. She has testified before legislative committees numerous times. One of her great loves is dragon boating which began a few years back when the agency sponsored, Blind Ambition, the first team of blind paddlers in the US. "Dragon boating is my passion, says Charlene. It's the only team sport in the world where a blind person can compete on an equal basis with anyone." She estimates that at least 60 blind paddlers have participated over the years. Another passion is the Living With Blindness Seminars where she has participated many, many times with her husband Curt as a facilitator and role model.

Although nearing the end of her final term, for Charlene, there was no such thing as resting on one's laurels. Last fall, along with four staff members and an RN, she attended a week- long training on the Coronary Health Improvement Program (CHIP) in Rockford, Illinois. She came away enthused about its possibilities. The program emphasizes life style and a healthy diet, but as she tells people, it's a program for health, not weight loss. As a volunteer, Charlene piloted an 8-week CHIP program for staff to see if it really worked. It did, and now Charlene is facilitating a session for students at the Orientation Center. She is so convinced of its effectiveness that she urges any past, present, or potential client of the agency to call her for details and to sign up. She can be reached through the Portland office.

Char, as she likes to be called, has been a roll up the sleeves and get involved Commissioner and though her three 2-year terms are up, there is no evidence that she is about to disappear. We are not saying good-bye, Charlene, just a hearty thanks for all you do and all that you have done.

Submitted by Frank Synoground

Braille Menus

Hi all. I have posted a new page to the ACB of Oregon's web page called Braille Menus in Oregon It lists restaurant's with Braille Menus.

You can check it out at: Menus in Oregon.htm and let me know what you think

Please send me names and addresses for any restaurants you know about that have the Braille Menus and I will get them posted.

I can also list any from California and or Washington. Besides the name and address the phone number would be nice too.

I am sure there is a lot of Braille Menus out there we don't know about. It would be fun to try some new places with them.

John Fleming

For those of us who are trying to wage the war for pedestrian safety, this piece is refreshing.

'Be Safe, Be Seen' Campaign

'Be Safe, Be Seen' Campaign Heightens Awareness of Need for Caution Among Drivers, Pedestrians

LANSING, Mich., May 23, 2006
-- A public awareness campaign to reduce accidents involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists was launched at the Capitol today by Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and a coalition of safety advocates.
Joining Land in announcing the "Be Safe, Be Seen" campaign were prominent Farmington Hills attorney Richard Bernstein, Elmer L. Cerano, executive director of Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service Inc., and Karole White, president and CEO of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.

"Awareness, caution and courtesy are keys to preventing tragedy," said Land, Michigan's chief traffic safety officer and an avid runner. "Sharing public spaces with motor vehicles demands extra attention on everyone's part. To Michigan drivers we say, 'Be cautious and careful.' To runners, walkers and bicyclists we say, 'Be Safe, Be Seen.' Protect yourself by following the rules of the road, staying alert and being considerate of others."

The Department of State and Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service Inc., in cooperation with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, are airing public service announcements on statewide radio and television urging all who share streets and sidewalks to "Be Safe, Be Seen." They also are publishing brochures and reflective stickers that will be available in Secretary of State branch offices.

The coalition's message is especially important to Bernstein, a marathon runner who has been blind since birth. Bernstein walks regularly throughout his Oakland County neighborhood and knows firsthand the risks of sharing roads and sidewalks with vehicles, bicyclists and other pedestrians.

"People are getting hurt and people are dying," said Bernstein, who champions the rights of Michigan's disability community. "Citizens need to pay attention to the people who can't pay attention to them. What's good for the disabled population is good for all of Michigan."

More than 5,000 pedestrians and bicyclists die each year in the United States due to traffic accidents. Many others suffer incapacitating injuries. In Michigan, pedestrian fatalities continue to decline, falling from 173 in 2002 to 139 last year. The campaign hopes to encourage that trend.

Cerano pointed out that warmer temperatures mean more people soon will be enjoying outdoor activities.

"This campaign speaks to the shared responsibilities of every Michigan resident," Cerano said. "As we move past the winter months and into the summer, motorists need to be aware of joggers, parents pushing strollers, people in wheelchairs and individuals with visual impairments. Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service is pleased to move this campaign forward throughout the summer with the Department of State."

Safety tips include:
* Being alert in and around drive-through businesses and parking garages.
* Slowly moving your vehicle out of driveways and parking areas, watching on all sides for pedestrians and bicyclists.
* Waiting for drivers to stop and make eye contact with you before crossing a street. Don't assume that they see you.
* Mounting a safety flag on a wheelchair, motorized cart or stroller for better visibility.
The Michigan Association of Broadcasters is proud to support the initiative, according to White.

"We're pleased to help educate the public about this safety concern," White said. "If our message can prevent even one tragedy, then it's well worth the time and effort. Whether you're behind the wheel or on foot, we encourage all Michigan residents to act responsibly and courteously. Everyone has a role when it comes to traffic safety."

The "Be Safe, Be Seen" brochure is available on the Department of State Web site at

Submitted by Kae Madera

Multnomah Chapter News
Submitted by Patty Bessant

Our meetings have been interesting here as of late. In March, Pam Elmore, from Trimet, spoke about the Lift Service. It is a wonderful program and serves many if us who, by necessity, utilize public transportation. It is oftentimes frustrating, but when considering the many people riding, it is phenomenal. She had some tips regarding ways to avoid glitches. In April, a volunteer from Elders in Action came. Elders in Action mainly provides information, resources, and generally is a helping agency to protect older individuals from scams, and attempts to resolve problems. Recently, we have formed a committee aimed at improving pedestrian safety. We are in the very infantile stage, but have plans to include other organizations and individuals. We are currently working on a mission statement and goals. Our concern is for all pedestrians; traffic problems are numerous, and the pedestrian is at risk.

Kae Madera had foot surgery recently and is recovering. Evelyn Allen had hip replacement and is currently in a care facility. It will take lots of effort on her part to get back to normal, but she is on her way. Sadly, Evelyn Mathewson died on March 20th. She was very active for many years, but the last few years were difficult. She is missed by many of us.

Parting shot

As seen in a dog's diary:
7 am - Oh boy! A walk! My favorite!
8 am- Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9 am- Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!
Noon- Oh boy! The yard! My favorite!
2 pm- Oh boy! A car ride! My favorite!
3 pm- Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!
4 pm- Oh boy! Playing ball! My favorite!
6 pm- Oh boy! Welcome home Mom! My favorite!
7 pm- Oh boy! Welcome home Dad! My favorite!
8 pm- Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9 pm- Oh boy! Tummy rubs on the couch! My favorite!
11 pm- Oh boy! Sleeping in my people's bed! My favorite!

As seen in a cat's diary:
Day 183 of my captivity...
My captors continued to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal.
The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from clawing the furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another house plant.
Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded - must try this at the top of the stairs.
In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair - must try this on their bed.
Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body in an attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear in their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was. - Hmmm, not working according to plan.
There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food. More important, I overheard that my confinement was due to my powers of inducing "allergies."- Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.
I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit.
The bird, on the other hand, has got to be an informant and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured.
But I can wait; - it is only a matter of time

Last updated: November 6, 2006

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