[nfbmi-talk] Kalamazoo Gazette Article and Channel 3 Tonight

Elizabeth lizmohnke at hotmail.com
Sat Feb 27 02:38:53 UTC 2010

Thanks for keeping us up to date on all the local media coverage. Personally I think this article is better than the one that ran this past weekend. it's too bad we can't get the same kind of media coverage here in Lansing.


> From: jj at bestmidi.com
> To: nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org; nfb-kzoo at nfbnet.org
> Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2010 21:52:04 -0500
> Subject: [nfbmi-talk] Kalamazoo Gazette Article and Channel 3 Tonight
> First, Christine Boone will be on channel 3 tonight (Wednesday) at 11.
> She may also be on the CW 7 at 10.
> Also, here's the article from Wednesday's Kalamazoo Gazette.
> Firing over marksmanship program protested: Supporters want former blind training center director reinstated
> By Chris Killian | Special to the Kalamazoo...
> February 24, 2010, 12:30PM
> Protesters, Michigan Commission for the Blind Training Center
> View full size
> Demanding reinstatement: Protesters march Tuesday outside the Michigan Commission
> for the Blind Training Center in Kalamazoo to protest the firing of former director
> Christine Boone for her creation of a marksmanship program there.
> Roxanne Mann had never shot any kind of gun until she took a class at the Michigan
> Commission for the Blind Training Center last year.
> On her second try, she pulled the trigger on her spring-loaded pellet rifle and hit
> the bullseye on the target.
> "I was amazed," said Mann, 46, who has had vision problems most of her life and has
> been nearly blind for the past three years. "I've done more here than I ever thought
> I'd be able to do."
> That sense of achievement was what brought Mann and several of her fellow students
> to a protest at Kalamazoo training center for the blind Tuesday to demand reinstatement
> of former director Christine Boone, who was fired for creating the marksmanship program.
> The program, conducted in a wooded ravine behind the Oakland Drive facility beginning
> last September, was canceled in November and Boone was fired Feb. 4 for allowing
> firearms on state property.
> "It's a safety-work-rule violation, a serious work-rule violation," Mario Morrow,
> director of communications for the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic
> Growth, said last week of Boones' firing.
> "The class was run safely, effectively and professionally, just like every other
> program here," Phill Kelly, 26, who was enrolled in the class before it was terminated
> in November, said from Tuesday's protest.
> "They took all the appropriate safety measures into consideration. It's not like
> we were shooting .22's or shotguns out here."
> Boone, who has 30 years of experience in the rehabilitation field, said she saw the
> activity as one that empowered students and boosted their self-confidence. She said
> she received verbal consent in March to begin the program from Patrick Cannon, director
> of the Michigan Commission for the Blind in Lansing, and has appealed her dismissal.
> The Kalamazoo Gazette has been unable to reach Cannon for comment.
> Several students at Tuesday's protest praised Boone, who became director of the training
> center in 2006, for her progressive programs.
> Miles Matie, 35, had a career in computer programming before losing his eyesight
> four years ago. Although he's only been at the training facility for a month, he
> said he's learning a lot thanks to programming that Boone started.
> Boone replaced outdated typing classes with computer training, introduced specialized
> technology to level the playing field between blind professionals and their sighted
> colleagues, and established a peer-support system for blind college students, according
> to Matie.
> "I'm out here picketing for my fellow students," he said.
> "When you get rid of programs, you are subtly saying blind people can't live a productive,
> normal life," said Larry Posont, president of the of the National Federation of the
> Blind of Michigan, which organized the protest.
> "We say the average blind person can do the average job," he said. "We are in the
> right and we will continue to fight."
> © 2010 MLive.com. All rights reserved.
> http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2010/02/firing_over_marksmanship_progr.html
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