The Free Press, Mankato, MN


May 25, 2013

Safety event helped special kids

To the Lake Crystal Fire Department for organizing an educational and fun event for autistic children.

Firefighters, law enforcement and emergency personnel offered the children a chance to learn about fire and rescue and to more importantly not be scared when they come across a real fire or rescue situation.

The children, from area schools, were able to hear sirens, see rescue vehicles use fire hoses and even be strapped to a gurney for a ride in an ambulance. Assistant Lake Crystal Fire Chief Gary Reed organized the event at the urging of his wife Julie, who drives a van that gets autustic children to their school.

Children with autism or other disabilities might normally run or become scared when a rescue vehicle showed up. The might be freightened by the noise or men showing up in funny-looking big suits wearing gas masks. The simple class made fun helped them understand they don't need to be scared.

The firefighters and rescue personnel also learned how to deal with children who might have autism or other disabilities. They learn what things can calm children down and other techniques for more effective communication.

The event was a win-win all around. Everyone learned about each other and enhanced the cause of public safety in the meantime.

Levin doth protest too much

Thumbs down to U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who apparently is indignant that Apple hired some people smarter than Congress to follow the tax laws Levin’s committee created.

Levin accused Apple of parking much of its outside sales’ profits in Irish subsidiaries that paid little if any taxes. Levin pointedly avoided suggesting that Apple broke any laws but rather said it wasn’t fair because small companies or individual taxpayers would not have such ability. This is so much hogwash.

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