Local/Kansas The Salina Journal Sunday, March 31, 1985 Page 3 Groups cooperate to better serve aging population By MARTIN MELENDY Staff Writer A cooperative effort between various agencies that provide health care and other services in Salina has begun in an attempt to help elderly people find needed care, aid and advice. ; Services With Aging People includes representatives from such agencies as the Saline County Commission on Aging, hospitals and the state's Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. ' The representatives have met since fall to gauge what services are duplicated and how best to direct elderly people in need to agencies that provide services. • Hanne Middleton, aging commission director, said the initial meetings offered chances to gather information and for representatives to meet one another. : "We all know what we are doing but wanted to get an idea about What others are doing," she said. "We were aware of the need to come up with some central location because there is so much overlapping and in some cases duplication of services," she said. '- The project is partly the brainchild of Yvonne Olsen, director of personal health for the Salina-Saline County Mental Health Center, and Nancy Klostermeyer, director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. "The idea is to bring agencies together to at least share ideas and be good resources," Olsen said. • Olsen said she and Klostermeyer realized the multitude of agencies in Salina that help the elderly can provide more comprehensive service if they are in regular contact. The group awaits word on a Commission on Aging grant application to the Central Kansas-Flint Hills Area on Aging. The six-month grant would be used to hire a person who could help direct elderly people to services. Middleton said she expects to hear about the $5,264 grant within two months. The aging commission is expected to add about $1,800 to the grant and provide office space at the Leisure Years Center, 245 N. Ninth. The staff member probably would meet monthly with representatives of the various agencies involved, Middleton said. "The plan is to continue to meet at least once a month to be an advisory board and support group to the case manager. That way each agency would have direct input," Middleton said. "This allows for closer communication, but primarily it is to avoid duplications," she said. The project, Middleton said, "serves as sort of a clearinghouse" of information. The agencies involved want to make sure elderly people are not put off and that they receive services available. The cooperation so far is encouraging, Middleton said. "The agencies are not so much concerned about turf or territory but to provide the best service for the greatest number of people," she said. "I think that speaks well for Salina." Groups involved include the Central Kansas Mental Health Center, Commission on Aging, Hospice of Salina, Social and Rehabilitation Services, Gospel Mission, St. John's Hospital, Asbury Hospital, Oasis, Kansas Legal Services, Nursing Care Associates, Omni Care, Salina- Saline County Health Department and its home health agency, Retired Senior Volunteers Program, Johnstown Towers, Oakdale Plaza Apartments and Crisis Hotline. Tom Dorwy SPRING DELIVERY — Mail carrier Tom the snow, while walking his route Saturday af- Shotwell, Salina, sorts through the mail, and ternoon. Flight gives photographer new perspective By LAURIE OSWALD Staff Writer Salina photographers who anticipated journeys to the sunny skies Saturday via a hot air balloon with Kenneth Baird as their guide woke up to snow flurries. Snow, however, did not stop Baird from taking another type of journey Saturday afternoon with a dozen photographers in the Salina Community Theatre via a slide show. _ Baird, an aerial photographer and artist in residence for the Journey Series sponsored by the Salina Arts and Humanities Commission, plotted his journeys as a teacher and photographer for the audience. • He said many people ask him, ''When did you become a photographer?" " Baird said he tells them, "You don't suddenly become a photographer. Photography is all of life. Those who use cameras are only using a machine to do cognitive mapping, a way of traveling life and plotting where you've been." Baird, from Whitby, Enlgand, is Currently teaching photography and photo history to University of Michigan students at Ann Arbor. He intersperses teaching with free-lance "When you take off (in a balloon), you don't know where you're going to land. And that's a lot like life." — Kenneth Baird documentary and aerial photography, he said. Ten years ago, while he was teaching photography and art history in England, Baird said he decided he wanted to try his hand at photography as well as teach it. He began with social documentary photography, he said, taking pictures of residents in homes for the blind and fishermen and hunters near his home town. He came to the United States in 1977, where the terrain of New Mexico caught his eye and his imagination, he said. "The landscape was so vast and the lighting so different," he said. But eventually, he became familiar with the land and saw similarities between the giant waves of desert sands and the sea. He researched the geography of the area and discovered the desert had once been a sea, he said. This discovery led Baird to make connections across all disciplines — art, science, history, geography and anthropology — and he became disinterested in photography as an isolated medium, Baird said. "I'm not just interested in making pretty pictures," Baird said. He said the more he wanted to express an intergrated perspective, the more he wanted to view the land from the sky. He took his first balloon trip in 1977 in New Mexico. Baird said ballooning is his favorite mode of flight and seeing through the camera. "Flying is so exhilarating. If I had a balloon here today, I could explain how I feel. "Once, we were in a balloon for 2% hours and when we landed, we didn't want to come down. Once on the ground, we tried to run and jump and defy gravity. It's the trip of a lifetime. "When you take off, you don't know where you're going to land," Baird said. "And that's a lot like life." Baird said a view from the sky helps him better understand his place in the universe, and helps him communicate his ideas. "Our world is shrinking, our frontiers are diminishing," Baird said. He said young people are beginning to see the world as a globe rather than a town, and his aerial photography expresses this attitude change. Baird's current project, sponsored through a Guggenheim Fellowship, is his photographic documentary of land along the Mexican- American border. Baird will appear from 1:30 to 3 p.m. today at the Salina Art Center on the Kansas Wesleyan campus for the opening of the exhibit, "Mapping Realities." James Merchant, Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program, University of Kansas, will also speak at 2 p.m. Baird said he hopes to return to Salina for a balloon excursion. He said the arts commission will announce the new schedule. Society buys animal shelter McPHERSON (HNS) — After years of fruitless efforts to get city or county funding for an animal shelter, the McPherson Humane Society has purchased a building for that use, according to Cindy Rosproy, a Humane Society member. The society had an option to buy the building in west McPherson and was about to lose the option, so members decided to go ahead with the $34,000 purchase, Rosproy said. They do not have the cash in hand to pay for it, she said. "We plan to get a loan and then begin fund raising. We feel that McPherson will come through for us," she said. Once the sale is closed in August, volunteers plan to remodel and staff the facility. "We'll operate it on a shoestring budget unless, by the grace of God, we get all the money at once," she said. Commission to consider tower plan An application to construct a commercial radio tower in a pasture about 4.5 miles north of Salina is scheduled to be considered by the Saline County Planning and Zoning Commission Monday. The commission's meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Room 200 of the City-County Building, 300 W. Ash. G&K Tower, Ness City, made the application. G&K's Theryon Rowe said space on the tower would be rented to businesses for two-way radio communications. No commercial radio transmissions will be made from the tower, which is expected to be 420 feet tall. Saline County Planning and Zoning Department staff have recommended approval of the tower with four conditions. If the planning commission approves the request, approval still is needed by the county commission. The tower would be in a 40-acre pasture on the east side of Ohio Street about 4.5 miles north of 1-70. The staff said that the tower would not harm surrounding agriculture uses. It suggested that the tower must be a distance equal its height from any public right-of- way; must comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations; a fence must be constructed around the base of the tower; and no permanent structures other than the tower can be built. Also on the Monday agenda is a request by Wallace Storey that the commission approve his request to rezone five acres near the South Industrial Area from an agriculture to business-commercial. Storey plans to build small, self- storage warehouses on the property if the planning commission approves the change and sends it to the county commission. Planning department staff recommends approval if the area is platted within a year or if an adequate on-site water supply system and waste disposal system are presented to the planning commission. The commission also faces a renewal request by Darwin Knox of the Knox Sand Co. to renew a permit for operation of the excavating operation. Knox Sand, about three-fourths of a mile southeast of Ohio and Magnolia, has received three-year permits twice before and the planning commission staff recommends another extension. Ruebke trial is postponed HUTCHINSON (AP) - The scheduled Monday trial of a man charged with killing twin 2-year-old boys and their teen-age babysitter has been postponed so defense experts can examine the physical evidence in the case. Richard Rome of Hutchinson, defense lawyer for Arnold Ruebke Jr., 18, of Kingman, said he won a continuance from Reno County District Judge Porter Brown after convincing the judge he needed more time to have the evidence evaluated. Brown asked Rome to get back in touch with him Wednesday to set a new date, Rome said. Ruebke was charged with three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the Oct. 29 shooting deaths of James and Andrew Vogelsang and their babysitter, Tammey Mooney, 17, all of Arlington. Legislature takes closer look, increases funds for poor By DALE GOTER Kansas Correspondent TOPEKA (HNS) — If you are an unemployed Kansas mother of two dependent children, how much money do you need each month to provide the essentials of life? Although the Kansas Legislature appropriates millions of dollars each year for its Aid For Dependent Children (AFDC) and General Assistance programs for the needy, that is a question it has seldom asked. In past years, according to lobbyists for those social programs, the Legislature has simply looked at how much money is left over at the end of a session, and distributed it to those programs with little regard for whether it was enough to meet the needs of welfare families. The result has been minimal increases in the monthly grants to the 65,000 AFDC grant recipients and several thousand other unemployed needy people on state assistance. Last year, the increase was three percent; the year before, it was zero; the two prior years, three percent and 2.5 percent. But this year, a subtle change has taken place in the Legislature's methods. For the first time, House 'and Senate committees first have looked at the needs of indigent Kansans, and decided how much to give them based on that analysis, observers say. The $502 million 1986 budget for the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services still must clear the Senate, but it appears likely that the increase in the monthly grants will be at least 6 to 7.5 percent, more than the total for the past three years combined. "They actually looked at what a family needs, instead of how much money was left over (in the state budget)," says Paul Johnson, lobbyist for the Public Assistance Coalition of Kansas (PACK). "I think it's the result of increased sensitivity," observes Lynn Barclay, lobbyist for the Kansas Children's Coalition. "The issue of cost (to the state) hasn't come up as much as the issue of what is fair for Kansas to pay to its most vulnerable citizens." Both Barclay and Johnson agree that much of the credit for the change goes to a House Ways and Means Subcommittee that studied the SRS budget for six weeks. A particularly significant change was that subcommittee chairman Rep. Ed Rolfs, R- Junction City, refused to use federal pover- ty guidelines as a standard of need, they say. Rolfs, whose Junction City district is the second-poorest city in the state, instead drafted a separate budget for a family of three. The subcommittee used those figures to decide how much to increase the monthly grants, settling on $542, a six percent increase over current year grants. That amount still is short of the $655 monthly budget drafted by Rolfs, but supporters like Johnson and Barclay are encouraged that it actually attempts to address the financial needs of AFDC families. Rolfs also agrees that a minimum income guideline based on Kansas situations is a major departure from past practice. "In the past, SRS would say we were paying only 65 percent of the federal poverty guideline, but nobody paid any attention to them because nobody had any faith in those numbers," Rolfs says. The minimum monthly budget developed by the committee is a key reason that the House approved the six percent increase, and that the Senate Ways and Means Committee raised it even higher to 7.5 percent. Gov. John Carlin had recommended a six percent increase. "We didn't hire any social scientists to figure it out," Rolfs says of the new guideline. "We based it on our community and what we think the people need." Rolfs also credits two other SRS programs — a jobs program and a stepped-up welfare fraud prevention effort — for the Legislature's interest in improving the lot of its most needy citizens. The proposed 1986 SRS budget adds 10 additional workers to look for welfare fraud, and an intensified job-training program is designed to reduce the number of people on public assistance. "If we can get the cheaters off the welfare rolls, that leaves the people who are unemployable, those with small children and the handicapped," Rolfs says. "Those people, it seems to us, we should provide with a minimum standard of living." The Legislature is more likely to be sympathetic to the needy if it is satisfied that only the truly needy are drawing public assistance, Rolfs says. The fact that even the 7.5 percent increase doesn't bring the monthly AFDC grant up to the absolute minimum still leaves questions about the plight of those people, Johnson says. "We are accepting some real sad tradeoffs, such as child abuse and cut-off utilities," Johnson says. AFDC families that run out of money before the end of the month face severe problems, Barclay agrees. "Where does the other 17 percent come from?" she asks. "Do they do illegal things (to get the money) or do they come up charity? They get their utilities shut off, they end up with no food in the refrigerator, the kids cry and child abuse goes up." Here is a breakdown of the subcommittee's monthly budget for a family of three: Rent: $200; utilities: $75; phone: $10; food: $270; transportation: $50; clothing: $20; school supplies, miscellaneous: $30; total: $655. Here are the projected benefits for that family under the proposed SRS budget: AFDC grant (including 6 percent increase): $368; food stamps: $159; low-income energy benefit: $15; total: $543, or 83 percent of the minimum budget.
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