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Winners 2007 Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging

Seven winning communities and government agencies from around the country are the recipients of the first-ever Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging awards. The award program recognizes outstanding community planning and strategies that support active aging and smart growth, thereby improving the quality of life of older adults.

By adopting smart growth principles, communities can design places that increase mobility and improve quality of life for older adults. Pedestrian-friendly, level walkways also increase access to these amenities and encourage older residents to walk to the doctor’s office or local stores. By providing a range of housing opportunities, communities can enable residents to move within their neighborhood as their housing needs change. Such life-long residents help to establish a strong sense of place within a community. The benefits of building healthy communities for active aging are being realized in communities across the country.

There are two award categories: the Commitment Award recognizes communities that have developed and begun to initiate a specific plan to implement smart growth principles and active aging concepts; the Achievement Award recognizes overall excellence in building healthy communities for active aging.

The 2007 Achievement Award winners are the Atlanta Regional Commission and the City of Kirkland, Washington. The 2007 Commitment Award winners included: City of Rogers Adult Wellness Center, Arkansas; Carver County Public Health, Carver County, Minnesota; Town of Scarborough, Maine; Queen Anne’s County Housing and Community Development, Maryland; Brazos Valley Council of Governments, Texas. For information about the winners see awards booklet at: http://www.epa.gov/aging/bhc/awards/2007/index.html

from February 2008 U.S. EPA Aging Initiative List Serve, http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/

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Nonagenarian archaeologist Kathleen Gilmore

2011-08-17 Dr Gilmore’s death was npt widely known, unfortunately, in the news media. She would have been someone to have known. Kathleen Kirk Gilmore | Visit Guest Book Gilmore, Kathleen Kirk Kathleen Kirk Gilmore, born Nov. 12, 1914, in Altus, OK. Passed away March 18, 2010. She was the daughter of Jessie Horton Kirk and Rufus Patrick Kirk and wife of late Robert Beattie Gilmore. She worked since Junior High at various jobs while going to school to earn her BS in Geology from Oklahoma University. After raising 4 daughters, she returned to school earning her PhD in anthropology in 1973 from SMU and she has been working as an archaeologist since. She was an adjunct professor at North Texas University from 1974 to 1990 and led many archaeology digs in Texas and elsewhere. Past contributions in her field include the first female President of the Society for Historical Archaeology, President of the Texas Archaeological Society, President of the Council of Texas Archaeologists, served on the Texas Board of Review, Board of Directors of the Texas Historical Foundation. In 1995 she was the first woman to receive the Harrington Medal in Historical Archaeology and in 2008 she received the Governor’s Award for Historical Preservation. She was the first archaeologist to prove the location of La Salle’s Fort St. Lewis settlement. Survived by daughters Judy Gilmore Lepthien, Pat Gilmore, 5 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchild-ren. Donations can be made to Texas Historical Commission, Texas Archeological Society, or the Society for Historical Preservation. Services will be held at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home at 4 pm on Tuesday March 23, 2010 and following the services will be a celebration of her life at the house.

Archaeologist Kathleen Gilmore has unlocked some of the most elusive mysteries of Texas history.
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/082807dnmetarc.3157d1e.html
By ALLEN HOUSTON, The Dallas Morning News, 05:01 AM CDT on Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Kathleen Gilmore by JIM MAHONEY/DMN

VICTORIA, Texas –
Kathleen Gilmore, the first archaeologist to prove the location of explorer La Salle’s Fort St. Louis, returned to the site near Victoria, Texas, earlier this year with a French documentary film crew.

She spent decades hunting down the location of the French explorer La Salle’s lost fort before discovering it near the Gulf Coast. She also excavated a number of Spanish colonial forts in Texas, including Mission Rosario, near Goliad.

At age 92, the Preston Hollow resident will visit Spain in December to study a recently discovered cache of documents sent from early Texas missions.

But her greatest accomplishment may have been digging the way for other women to follow in her footsteps….

[Now, why would she need to dig her/our way forward? for example,

Jeff Durst, an archaeologist with the Texas Historical Commission, added: “She’s got an incredible amount of spirit and spunk for her age.

Time’s passage hasn’t slowed Dr. Gilmore.]

Dr. Gilmore grew up in Tulsa and in the 1930s attended the University of Oklahoma, where she studied geology, believing that it would be easier to help support her family during the Depression.

Instead, the only work she could find was as a secretary for a geologist in Houston.

“That’s the way it was at the time, and me and a lot of women were forced to accept that,” she said.

In the early 1940s, Dr. Gilmore married her husband, Bob, and moved to Dallas, where they had four children. She didn’t go back to school until she was 49, enrolling in the archaeology program at Southern Methodist University.

… Dr. Gilmore became the first female president of the Society for Historical Archaeology and was an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas for 15 years. She also was the first archaeologist to prove the location of La Salle’s Fort St. Louis, according to the Texas Historical Commission….

Fort St. Louis lasted from 1685 to 1689 before its last inhabitants were killed by Indians, according to the Texas Historical Commission. By the camp’s end, La Salle had been murdered by some of his men while trying to make his way to French settlements in Canada.

Dr. Gilmore’s search for the fort began in the early 1970s when she helped analyze some ceramic fragments found in a field near Victoria. The shards turned out to be from the Saintonge area of France…. “One of the great what-ifs of Texas history is, ‘What would our state be like today if the French had been successful with their colony?’ ” Dr. Bruseth said, laughing….


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Tolstoy’s Bicyclist nonagenarian George Dawson and brain fitness

“Some people say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” Edwards said. “So I always like to mention George Dawson. He died a couple of years ago at age 102 or 103. What’s remarkable about George Dawson is that he learned to read at age 98.”

Dawson, of Texas, who was the grandson of slaves, then collaborated with co-author Richard Glaubman to write his autobiography, “Life is So Good,”‘ published in 2000 by Random House.

2011-05-28 Oprah recently posted this video about Mr Dawson’s legacy, George Dawson’s Legacy May 13, 2011

According to this entry, Mr Dawson published his first book at 102 years.

African American Read-In has a more detailed biography, “George Dawson also received two Doctorates of Humane letters from Texas Weslyan University and New School of New York City. In 2002, George Dawson Middle School was named in his honor in Southlake, Texas.” Click the photo to visit. George Dawson reading at 102

Mr Dawson’s accomplishments came up in a news summary of what the latest studies say about retaining or improving mental agility (caffeine in women. not men, is another finding). The summary is pretty good about the types of “neurobics” (stupid term, IMO) which are recommended more and more frequently. They also note the relationship between physical exercise and mental ability, “The general concept is: what’s good for your heart is good for your brain,” Mirza said.

In Bethel, they will probably just hide another jigsaw piece I hear they still won’t let the elderlies run the place.

Work your way to brain fitness
Posted by Linda S. Mah/Gazette August 21, 2007 17:14PM

…Physical exercise, social involvement, challenging activities and new experiences are all recommended as ways to help keep our brains in top-notch condition.

“The analogy may be trite, but the brain is like a muscle,” said Morry Edwards, a licensed clinical psychologist with Neuropsychology Associates in Kalamazoo. “The circuits strengthen when you use your brain. If you don’t, the circuits fade.”…

“Some more-recent research shows it’s not just the exercise but the type of exercise or variety of exercise that you do which is important,” Mirza said.
[…]

O’Folks off their rocker Add this to Bookmarks:

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Claudia Alta Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson nonagenarian

National Public Radio did a nice story about Mrs. Johnson.

They mentioned some of her own accomplishments, including as

  • media mogul (radio) at a time when women did not participate in business, much less ran large ones
  • impetus for the Highway Beautification Act 1965 (Lady Bird Act) which removed highway billboards
  • as tireless worker for native plants photo from http://www.wildflower.org/ladybird/

These last two are hard to believe these days would have been much of a challenge to implement. But for anyone who witnessed the difference along federal highways and along the streets and parks of Washington, DC, and the then opposition , it was an amazing effort. The wildflower research center will be a lasting legacy, among others.

the first solo whistle-stop tour of a first lady in history (1964)
founded a national wildflower research center in Austin (1982)
first First Lady to receive Congressional Gold Medal (1988)

She was not the longest living First Lady (Bess Truman, 97 years).

Claudia Alta Taylor was born in Karnack, Texas, near the Louisiana border, on Dec. 22, 1912. She was 2 years old when she was given her nickname by a maid who described her as “purty as a lady bird.”

She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1934 with bachelor of arts and bachelor of journalism degrees, and met Johnson, then a congressional aide, the same year…. In 1988 she received the Congressional Gold Medal for her environmental and humanitarian work, becoming the first wife of a president to do so.
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N11219716.htm

In 1943, Mrs. Johnson bought a failing low-power daytime-only Austin radio station with an inheritance from her mother. Armed with her journalism degree and a tireless work ethic, she took a hands-on ownership role, selling advertising, hiring staff, and even cleaning floors. Over time, her Austin broadcasting company grew to include an AM and FM radio station and a television station, all bearing the same call letters: KTBC… Mrs. Johnson stayed actively involved in the LBJ Holding Company well into her 80s.
http://www.wildflower.org/ladybird/

Stay tuned over at Ed Darrell’s place for his perspective, as a Texas historian. Update. The direct link–
Steel magnolias have nothing on Lady Bird Johnson, who understood the power of a blanket of flowers, the importance of roots and family, and how much grace can mean to those who get it.

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Quick notes

Legislature doubles elderly aid in special session Published: June 27, 2007
JUMPS TO $250 A MONTH: Legislature also increases maximum qualifying income. …
The Legislature voted to increase the aid so that it ranges from $125 to $250 from the current $120 a month for the year that starts Sunday. They also boosted the number of seniors eligible to an estimated 10,700, from the current 7,000, by raising the maximum qualifying income level to $22,347 for individuals and $29,960 for couples… Lawmakers called for the special session just weeks after adjourning for the year in Juneau on May 16. The senior-aid legislation died after becoming ensnared in end-of-session politics.

Several lawmakers argued Tuesday that increasing the amount of cash assistance would create an unsustainable amount of state spending for an entitlement that overlapped other state-sponsored programs for seniors.
http://www.adn.com/news/government/legislature/story/9084438p-9000510c.html
See earlier post, Alaska Senior Care special session – https://theelderlies.wordpress.com/2007/06/04/alaska-senior-care-special-session/

Vote for Your Favorite Essay, Poems and Photographs Contest to Commemorate 100th Anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Life

Vote for your favorite finalist from the many intergenerational teams that submitted photos, essays, or poems for the Rachel Carson “Sense of Wonder” contest. You may vote for your favorite in each of the five categories. The contest commemorates the 100th anniversary of environmentalist Rachel Carson’s life. Finalists were chosen from the entries submitted by teams in twelve states, including children as young as 15 months and some older adults over 90 years old.
http://www.epa.gov/aging/resources/thesenseofwonder/contest/

The deadline to vote is Friday, July 20, 2007. Winners will be announced at the annual meeting of Generations United, July 24-27 in Washington, DC.

Visit Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub to see that Rachel Carson is still making folks think.

Excellence in Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging

The EPA is accepting applications from municipalities, counties and tribes for an award which recognizes outstanding community planning and strategies that support active aging. Awards for “Excellence in Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging” will be presented to communities that demonstrate the best and most inclusive overall approach to implementing smart growth and active aging at the neighborhood, tribe, municipality, county, and/or regional levels.

Applicants must be public-sector entities in the United States and coordinate with their local Area Agency on Aging. Public-sector entities include all levels of elected governments, from city councils to state legislatures and their constituent parts such as planning departments and other executive branch divisions. Application, Award Guidelines and Entry Rules on the Excellence Awards for Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging can be found at http://www.epa.gov/aging/bhc/awards/

Applications are due October 17, 2007. Winners will be announced at the 7th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth: Building Safe, Healthy and Livable Communities Conference in Washington, DC, February 2008. For more general information on Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging please see http://epa.gov/aging/bhc/index.htm

New Web Site Supports Active Aging
The Learning Network for Active Aging recently launched their website, http://www.lnactiveaging.org, which will serve as one of the focal points for information exchange on the Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging Initiative. The Learning Network is affiliated with the Active for Life initiative, headquartered at the School of Rural Public Health at Texas A&M Health Science Center. Active for Life ( http://www.activeforlife.info) is one of several Active Living projects funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The Learning Network receives technical support from the Healthy Aging Research Network at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and is coordinated with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA).

Mapping Older America
The Brookings Institute has recently released “Mapping the Growth of Older America: Seniors and Boomers in the Early 21st Century,” by William H. Frey (June 2007). This report highlights how the aging boomers, who constitute this decade’s fastest growing age group, are expanding nearly 50 percent in size from 2000 to 2010. This group-more highly educated, with more professional women, and more diverse than its predecessors-will add new stresses to suburban and Sun Belt locations where they are predominantly “retiring in place” with demands for health, transportation, and other services.
For full report see http://www3.brookings.edu/views/articles/200705frey.pdf

Fact sheets for Caregivers and Older Adults
The EPA Aging Initiative has developed fact sheets on environmental hazards that can worsen common chronic conditions. These brief fact sheets are available at no cost and can be downloaded at our website http://epa.gov/aging/resources/factsheets/index.htm#fs . The fact sheets have been translated into 11 languages. A low vision version is available on the website too. To request copies please send an email to: aging.info AT epa DOT gov

Most of the above is from June 2007 Aging Initiative List Serve published by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Sort of amazing as just a few years ago the current White House agency was promoting that older people were worth less when calculating environmental impacts.

The list serv is worth subscribing to. Unfortunately, they are not following the convention of putting their contact info on each issue so I’ll have to track down the info for you.


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