Give Your Used Cell Phone to a Good Cause (Survivors of Domestic Violence)
Although I don’t use Verizon for my own cell phone service provider, I recently came across a Verizon wireless page about how you can donate your used cell phone for what they call “Hopeline“.
According to the Verizon website:
Hopeline connects survivors of domestic violence to vital resources, funds organizations nationwide and protects the environment.
What is a HopeLine Phone?
HopeLine phones are refurbished phones that are equipped with 3,000 anytime minutes of airtime and texting capabilities. They come with Verizon Wireless Nationwide Coverage, Call Forwarding, Call Waiting, 3-Way Calling, Caller ID, Basic Voice Mail and texting. HopeLine phones are available to survivors affiliated with participating domestic violence agencies.
Protecting the environment is a major focus for the HopeLine program. We collect no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries and accessories in any condition, from any service provider. Phones that can’t be reused are recycled responsibly under our zero landfill policy. Since 2001 our program has recycled 1.7 million wireless phones and kept more than 260 tons of electronic waste and batteries out of landfills.
When Republicans pushed to amend the Minnesota Constitution to ban gay marriage, I would have liked to have heard whether anyone in the room thought to speak up and say hmmm…, are we going to lose and in the process of losing create a massive, grass-roots organization of gay rights supporters that will then pass gay rights legislation in the next legislative session? I’m thinking that everyone was so overconfident that they never gave that a serious thought. Well, that’s fine with me, because it is about time we had a conversation about whether it is right to deny committed gay relationships the legal recognition that they deserve.
Here’s an article on the upcoming gay marriage push in the 2013 Minnesota Legislature titled Minnesota’s Marriage Fight Will Flare Anew at Capital.
From the article:
Both sides of the marriage amendment fight are reuniting their troops as they prepare for what is rapidly emerging as the next frontier in the battle — a push to legalize same-sex marriage in the Legislature.
“Our intention is to make sure gay and lesbian couples have the freedom to marry after the 2013 legislative session,” said Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families. The group is reconfiguring its operation that defeated the proposed marriage amendment on Election Day.
Filed under News, Websites
I ran into an article titled “What Does a Divorce Financial Planner Bring to the Table?”. The article is written for a reading audience of professional Certified Financial Planners but for the rest of us it is a helpful summary of what a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst can do for a divorcing person and a divorcing couple.
From the article:
I have spoken to individuals who will not get a divorce because they fear the financial consequences. They find it more appealing to stay in an, at best, unhealthy or, at worst, abusive relationship rather than become a “bag lady” or “bag man.” The recent drawn-out recession is only making things worse as two households struggle to survive on the same dollars that used to support just one.
In comes the divorce financial planner. A divorce financial planner is trained and knowledgeable about your state’s divorce laws as well as personal financial planning. They are fee-only planners who work within the context of the legal divorce process. The most prevalent designation for training is the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA™). Working with a financial divorce expert can help preserve a family’s finances—which is crucial today more than ever.
Here’s a link to the article “What Does a Divorce Financial Planner Bring to the Table?“
If you’d like to learn more about how to find a Divorce Financial Analyst or how one might be helpful to consult in your divorce, give us a call at Arnold Law and Mediation.
I ran into an interesting article in the New York Times about how much time we all spend on caring for the elderly in our families. From the article:
Every day, Bureau of Labor Statistics interviewers ask Americans to detail how they spent the previous 24 hours, how many minutes and hours they devoted to everything from shopping to child care to phone calls. The results, culled from 12,500 respondents, make up the American Time Use Survey.
It began in 2003, but only last year did the bureau start asking about a key activity for millions of people — elder care.
Here’s a link to the article, titled: New Numbers on Elder Care.
At Arnold Law and Mediation, we help families come together to discuss elder care issues. For example, we can host a phone conference or Skype video call where the family can discuss options for care and next steps in care. We can facilitate the conversation in-person or by phone or Skype. Many times, all it takes is getting people to the table to have a discussion to clear up lines of communication and get over the little speed-bumps in decision making. This service is especially helpful where siblings of an elderly parent are spread out, living all over the country or even all over the world. We can help bring everyone into the discussion to prevent misunderstandings and build trust and common goals and expectations.
There’s an interesting article in the Star Tribune today titled “Pets Become Pawns in Custody Battles” about how when couples divorce they are fighting about custody and caring for their pets. The comparison here is to custody battles over children. Typically we’d be talking about the child’s best interests, but here we are arguably talking about the best interests of the pet. This is an unusual concept to legal professionals because we are taught that animals are property like a car or house or television. But people, especially perhaps those without children, think of their pets as part of the family and cannot imagine thinking of them as merely property to be divided. To me, this is a great issue for mediation because it isn’t treated very helpfully in the law, so if you went to court the court would likely not want to hear the issue and would likely just award the pet to one person. In contrast, in mediation, the parties could figure out a joint ownership arrangement where the connection between owner and pet could be maintained. Here’s a link to the story.
I was really interested in the law firm with attorneys Jenna Westby and Allison Marshall called LEGALnudge, because of the law firm name and because of their pricing structure. Most law firms are named after the last name or names of the attorneys who founded the firm, but this name is different! That caught my attention and thought that for Always Family Center I should figure out what the idea was behind this name. After looking at www.legalnudge.com, I was also curious to ask them about their pricing, since they have listed on their website the cost of various services, which is really uncommon in the legal field. They also have a blog on their website. Check out the video and learn something about LEGALnudge, a firm with a little bit different perspective on providing and pricing services in Family Law.
Although I didn’t ask about this in the video, from looking at their website, I noticed that they offer monthly legal clinics.
For more information about LEGALnudge, check out their website at www.legalnudge.com.
I was really impressed, when I read the book Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson. This is not your ordinary couples self-help book but is instead a research-based handbook for couples looking to work on their relationship and looking to learn how to make a better connection and avoid old patterns of relationship conflict. I was curious to learn more, because it seemed like a really helpful and important book.
The video below is a Skype conversation that I had with Laura Barbeau, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She uses Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) in her therapy practice and she also teaches a course on EFT based on the book Hold Me Tight.
The class consists of around 8 sessions, 2 hours long each, that discuss the chapters of the book in a group setting. Here, couples converse about issues with the whole class, leaving less time to focus on insignificant details and more time to solve the root of problems that apply to so many couples. Laura believes conflict is present in any relationship and finding a healthy way to approach problems is a skill that will inevitably be useful to any couple.
To learn more about Laura Barbeau’s Hold Me Tight class, go to Laura’s website by clicking here.
I’m interested in how the political and legal debate develops around the issue of same-sex marriage. I had the opportunity to record a Skype conversation with OutFront Minnesota’s legal director, Phil Duran, about the marriage amendment to the Minnesota Minnesota Constitution that will be voted on by Minnesota citizens (along with voting on the various political races) during the 2012 election.
For a little background, this is from a 05/23/2011 news post on the Minnesotans United for All Families website:
An antigay marriage ballot measure approved over the weekend by Minnesota state lawmakers is already setting the stage for a deeply divisive campaign of national importance.
On Saturday, the Minnesota house voted 70 to 62 in favor of the bill, which allows voters in 2012 to decide whether to adopt a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. The vote came after hours of debate and days of impassioned Capitol rallies on both sides of the debate.
Minnesotans United for All Families is the name of a coalition of organizations, which includes OutFront Minnesota, that are against the amendment.
The issue brings up questions about whether there should be something called Civil Union. Whether same-sex and hetero couples should all be grouped into Civil Unions rather than calling the state-sanctioned title marriage. Also, if there is such a thing as Civil Union, is that inherently unequal to marriage? Will the amendment be supported by the more libertarian wing of the republican electorate, since it appears to impinge on private ideals of freedom? Will this hurt the fragile Minnesota economy by scaring off potential employers, employees and those looking to start a business in Minnesota? Does this help anyone or is it just a flexing of religious/political muscle to impress a base constituancy?
Filed under Video, Websites