It's been gratifying to see the progress our society has made to be more inclusive of people with disabilities. I expect opportunities for employment, independent living and community involvement to continue to increase. There are many reasons for this, but one that's worth noting is the role of direct-support professionals. These are caring people who work hard to assist individuals with disabilities to achieve their goals. They make their lives better in many ways. ProAct employs more than 100 direct support professionals across its six locations.
When mayors get together they typically talk about "nuts and bolts" like infrastructure and budgets, not opioid abuse. Yet, opioid abuse affects so many cities, even our beloved Hastings. Hastings Police Department doesn't track opiate-related incidents separately. Instead they track overall drug activity. Based on their reported calls for service featuring drug activity to total calls for service, in 2015, 33 percent of total calls pertained to drug activity. In 2016, it was 32 percent. For 2017, 44 percent. The 2018 figure is 47 percent at the time of this writing.
The United Way of Hastings has been the Heart of Hastings since the agency was established in 1964. At the time, the founders wanted one organization in the community that would do all the fundraising, limiting the times community members and businesses were asked to donate to various causes. Volunteers canvassed the community and knocked on doors once a year to raise funds for UWH. Then, community members gathered to decide the greatest needs in the community and distribute the funds raised by UWH to community organizations that would provide direct services.
Pet peeves drive me bonkers. One of my pet peeves, which seems to have become standard practice, is to not call me back. This is after the person has said I would get a callback. It's even more irritating coming from a businessperson. I get it. Other people value their time more than mine. They don't want to be bothered with setting up a system to follow through. Even worse, they don't mind when they don't keep their word.
The United Way of Hastings is the HEART of Hastings raising and donating money locally for over 50 years. The programs funded by UWH are all local agencies and programs — supporting education, health and financial empowerment. Food 4 Kids is a program of the United Way of Hastings in partnership with 360 Communities and ISD 200. Some children in Hastings don't have enough to eat. Weekends without school meals can be especially tough. Food 4 Kids provides bags of kid-friendly food for the weekend.
My friends and I would like to thank the tall kind gentleman who paid for our lunch June 23 at Yuan's Buffet on Vermillion Street in Hastings. The waitress tried to describe him to us after he paid our bill and left the restaurant.
Pedestrians have rights on the road, too After two separate incidents while trying to cross Fourth Street in Hastings with a pedestrian crossing, I would like to remind drivers of Minnesota's statute concerning pedestrians' rights. MN Statutes 169.21 Pedestrians Subd. 2.Rights in absence of signal
The 17th annual Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival will take place in the village's East End Park Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23. According to festival organizers, the event will be cheesier than ever with more food, entertainment and tasting opportunities.
As we prepare for this Memorial Day on Monday, May 28, let us be mindful of the reason why we set aside a day to honor all heroes who have gone before us.
Both moms and law enforcement are honored in May. Mother's Day was on May 13. Law Enforcement Memorial Day was May 15. Besides having a common, celebratory month, both mothers and police officers deserve respect for their time and trouble. I'm sure many of us can remember a time when Mom said, "No, you can't have that" on "No, you can't do that." Moms reign because they make tough decisions with love and don't shy away from what's needed to help develop their children into better people. Moms tend to put others first. For all of these reasons, she deserves your respect.