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November 23, 2011

Host: Ted Simons

AZ Technology and Innovation: Science Festival

  |   Video
  • Planning is underway for an Arizona Science and Technology Festival next year. The plan is to rival the best science festivals in the nation. Jeremy Babendure, director of the Arizona SCITECH Festival, and Steve Zylstra of the Arizona Technology Council Foundation will discuss the festival.
  • Jeremy Babendure - Director,Arizona SCITECH Festival
  • Steve Zylstra - Arizona Technology Council Foundation
Category: Technology   |   Keywords: science festival,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Plans are underway for a six-week science festival that will take place next year in cities and towns throughout Arizona. The event is set to coincide with Arizona's centennial. Joining us now is Jeremy Babendure, director of the Arizona sci-tech festival. Also here is Steve Zylstra, head of the Arizona technology council foundation, one of the three founding partners of the festival initiative. Thanks for joining us.

Both: Thank you.

Ted Simons: Jeremy, talk about this event, what's going on here?

Jeremy Babendure: It's going to be a six-week celebration of science and technology throughout the state. Fun events that will happen throughout cities. A tech crawl, the science of chocolate and baseball and there will be events in different places and formats. Events in Tucson and Pinal County and throughout the state.

Ted Simons: What will be showcased? Science, technology?

Jeremy Babendure: It depends on the event. We have some that integrate science into the culture of what we do. We have an event in downtown Phoenix integrated with first Friday. Artists and businesses integrating science.

Ted Simons: I hear science of chocolate and baseball, I'm interested. That's the key getting people interested in science, correct?
Steve Zylstra: The idea is to go to something that kids have passion about. These are all initiatives that sort of dig into the passion that all kids have for some aspect of what they love.

Ted Simons: And we're talking science, technology, engineering.

Jeremy Babendure: And math.

Ted Simons: And math, ability the stem -- is it kid-specific? Something there for adults as well?

Steve Zylstra: Ranges from -- we like to say three years old to 99. There will be Nobel laureates speaking on panels, on campus, at ASU, for instance, something for all adults and little kids as well. Exciting aspects of science and technology.

Ted Simons: Talk more about these -- give me the science of baseball. What's going on there?

Steve Zylstra: We have the real world myth busters for baseball working with us to launch a fanfest for the city of Scottsdale. Part of a spring training kickoff. We're working through the details but there's going to be actual experiments that the public can go to and be part of the research team to learn something. So there's a lot of myths such as how far radar guns work or the fast ball. We have the researchers from ASU and U of A and around the nation working with us to help integrate this into a fun cultural event.

Ted Simons: The tech crawl, what's that?

Steve Zylstra: We're working with the city of Chandler. Silicon desert. People drive by the facilities and don't know what's there. And we partner with microchip and Intel and the incubators that will open up their doors to meet the people in their backyard, really innovating in Chandler.

Ted Simons: Steve, how did this idea get started? How long has it been in the works?

Steve Zylstra: Three years. I had helped to create a science festival in Pittsburgh and he was running the San Diego science festival. He's from Arizona, went to high school in Scottsdale and graduated from ASU with dis undergrad and kept coming back and forth and meeting everyone and finally we convinced him to come over and he's an expert doing these festivals and done a spectacular job of bringing a lot of collaborators together.

Ted Simons: Is there going to be something different about the festival in Arizona, compared to California or New York? Obviously, solar is huge here. Does that play into the mix?

Steve Zylstra: It does. In Mesa, there's going to be the science of flight, right? There's a lot going on in Mesa. Boeing is out there. We're going to focus on the industries that are critical. Semiconductor. You heard Jeremy mention Intel and microchip and the solar and all of the industries critical that our economy.

Ted Simons: I think I heard science of beer.

Jeremy Babendure: We have groups that want to integrate it, we have tough different regions, one in Tempe and one in Chandler that want to integrate the science of beer. There's a lot of information behind the yeast and how it's brewed and great links with science.

Ted Simons: In comparing Arizona, a festival like that here, as opposed to other parts of the country.

Jeremy Babendure: Right.

Ted Simons: The fact we're young and developing and growing change the dynamic?

Jeremy Babendure: I think we'll have the best festival. Because the public gets we need to move forward with innovation and they're hungry for the information and the other thing we can do is serve as a great platform to pull together the collaborators around stem. The cities -- San Diego has developed, it's already there. We have an opportunity to reach the public in a way that hasn't happened before.

Ted Simons: Is there a blank slate here that allows festivals to get going and not worry about history and tradition and those things?

Steve Zylstra: I think that's true. If you spend any time in the east, there are people you have to check things off with in order to move forward. The west, it's independent, individualistic and people do something and go out and do it. Our goal with this is to get to families and kids so that they choose a career trajectory or educational trajectory that's focused on science and technology and math. And because of making it fun is critical, informal science is the best way to motivate kids to get into these careers.

Ted Simons: Centered around February of next year, correct?

Jeremy Babendure: Correct.

Ted Simons: Thanks for joining us and good luck with the festival.

Steve Zylstra: Thank you.

Jeremy Babendure: Thank you.

Ted Simons: That's it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Child Protective Services

  |   Video
  • Arizona Republic Columnist Laurie Roberts comments on the Arizona Child Safety Task Force that’s looking into ways to reform Child Protective Services.
  • Laurie Roberts - Columnist, Arizona Republic
Category: Culture   |   Keywords: Arizona Child Safety, Child Protective Services,

View Transcript

Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. The case of a missing 5-year-old Glendale girl, Jahessye Shockley, is again raising questions about the state's ability to protect its children. "Arizona republic" columnist Laurie Roberts joins us to talk about ideas to reform the state's child protection services. Good to have you here. Thanks for joining us. Before we get to the taskforce and the ideas for reform. A little girl -- I mean, how does a mother who spent prison time for child abuse wind up with kids?

Laurie Roberts: Well, it seems like a horror story, doesn't it, on the night before Thanksgiving, that children in our community are living in situations like this. It's the biggest comedy of errors and I would laugh if I didn't have to cry over a case like this. You have a situation in California where they released this woman on parole with no restrictions. Allowed to have the children. Her mother decides I'll give the children back because mommy has had parenting lessons and will not beat the children with electrical cords and you have a situation with family members concerned, called California CPS, Arizona CPS, called the police and called and called and it made no difference.

Ted Simons: Ok. And it -- so now we get on to CPS and this taskforce, now, charged with looking at the CPS and recommending changes, what -- changes, what are you seeing so far?

Laurie Roberts: We've been around this merry-go-round. This is my third time around. 2003, there was an effort to reform. And 2008, an effort because of the deaths of children in Tucson. And here we go again, but for the first time, I feel like maybe the right players are in place to make the -- right players are in place. In the past, it's been tinkering, layering new things on to old things and trying to plug holes and fix things and now you have a guy in Bill Montgomery who has ideas in fundamental reforms by changing the way we look at if it from the outset.

Ted Simons: One of those ideas, maybe there's too much of an emphasis on reunifying families.

Laurie Roberts: Then ripping kids out of the homes and away from mommy and daddy. Yeah. It's a tough balancing act. What we need to get to, how do we early on decide those children that can't live in that hope, let's get them out of there, get them severed and let the children have a childhood -- childhood is a fleeting thing and for those kids who the issue is not criminal abuse but maybe abuse as a result of poverty, not being able to have your children properly supervised because you have to work. And there's no daycare money around. And we know what it costs. So bring services so those kids can stay in. I think his idea might mean that fewer kids have to be taken out of homes. Caseworkers tell me that they take kids out of the home defensively because they're afraid they might make a mistake and wind up in a headline and the child will die. Maybe they don't need to be taken, but as a defensive posture. If they don't have to deal with the criminal cases and instead, the law enforcement community is, perhaps they don't have to worry about ripping kids out and instead, have the time to bring in what's needed.

Ted Simons: That's the other idea. The idea, instead of CPS, social workers dealing with what looks to be a criminal situation. Though they're supposed to have police involved.

Laurie Roberts: They were involved from a paperwork perspective.

Ted Simons: But still, there was that connection and it didn't connect. Montgomery says get people that are trained, skilled in law enforcement, but also have social work and CPS capabilities as well. Make sense?

Laurie Roberts: An enormous amount of sense. We need those first responders in these cases to be child abuse, child sexual abuse, child neglect and abandonment experts. What we found in Jhessye Shockley, is that children lie. No surprise. Mommy says you better not tell anyone what I did, and so the police show up, no, everything is great. Mommy is great. We need people trained in forensic tactics who can delve and figure out if it's a crime or nothing to see here.

Ted Simons: Critics will say it takes money to train and find these people and critics of the whole system are saying that a lack of funding and lack of resources is a major factor here. We had bill Montgomery and Clarence Carter on last night to talk about this. Chairman and Vice-chairman of the taskforce and I asked Clarence Carter who oversees CPS -- he's the agency head at economic security, asking him is there an emphasis on -- emphasis on efficiency as opposed to resources.

Clarence Carter: We were able to take 200,000 hours out of a poorly designed practice. I could not ask for a resource for a poorly designed practice. So we're in the process of ensuring that the practice and the policy is effective and then where we understand the resource, we'll make a appropriate and diligent --

Ted Simons: When you have the time.

Clarence Carter: We do have the time for that.

Ted Simons: Do we have the time for that?

Bill Montgomery: Yes. I think what director Carter is pointing out, probably the most responsible from a public policy standpoint and the most logical from an organizational development standpoint how to address an agency like CPS with such a critical mission and employees dedicated to the task they have at hand.

Ted Simons: Do we have time for that? Do we have time for that kind of analysis, that kind of strategy?

Laurie Roberts: Well, you're going to have to make time, because I think realistically, not going to get the legislature to throw good money after bad. I like the idea of streamlining the system, the paperwork and the insane things these caseworkers have to comply with are crazy. But clearly, they're dodging the bigger question, which is when you fix this thing and have the new framework, chances are it's going to cost more money and maybe it should cost more money, especially if we're going to equally on the criminal side deal with -- along with that, deal with the other side, the social worker side. It's ridiculous we have 11,000 children in foster care. Ridiculous and expensive. We need to turn it around and get more services to them so we can get them back into the homes and maybe it will cost us less and yeah, we'll we're going to have to make a commitment. We're weeping over Jhessye Shockley as we did with so many other children this year. Are we going to put our money where our tears are?

Ted Simons: All right. We'll stop it there. Thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate it.

Family Caregivers

  |   Video
  • November is National Family Caregiver Awareness Month. David Besst, Co-chair of the Arizona Caregiver Coalition and Dr. David Coon, Associate Vice Provost for Research Collaborations at Health Outcomes @ ASU talk about the valuable service family caregivers provide and the services available to help them.
  • David Besst - Co-chair,Arizona Caregiver Coalition
  • Dr. David Coon - Associate Vice Provost for Research Collaborations at Health Outcomes, Arizona State University
Keywords: Arizona Caregiver Coalition, service family caregivers ,

View Transcript

Ted Simons: It's national family caregiver awareness month. And, as we're about to find out, caregivers are the unsung heroes of our nation's healthcare system. Bonnie Danowski has spent years representing caregivers at the state legislature on behalf of the valley interfaith project. This year, she was named caregiver advocate of the year by the Arizona caregiver coalition. In the following story, producer David Majure and photographer Scott Olson introduce us to Bonnie and her husband, Jim.

Bonnie Danowski: Dinner out tonight, right?

Jim Danowski: Yep.

Bonnie Danowski: Know where you want to go?

Bonnie Danowski: I probably became a caregiver when Jim was diagnosed, which was 41 years ago with multiple sclerosis.

David Majure: They married in 1964. Seven years later, Jim became seriously ill and Bonnie has been caring for him ever since.

Bonnie Danowski: ‘I've got the meetings in the morning’… but I did not self-identify and most caregivers don't, until 12 years ago when he had a serious exacerbation.

Bonnie Danowski: We don't call ourselves caregivers and what happens when that happens, when you do not self-identify, is that all of these crazy feelings go through our heads. God I'm tired. I shouldn't be tired. That person is the sick one. I -- I'm a little resentful today. I shouldn't be, they're the ones sick. I -- I'm -- I'm a little bit angry or I'm feeling grief. When caregivers name themselves and name themselves as caregivers, they then can deal with all of those feelings that come up. Because they're normal, normal feelings.

Bonnie Danowski: The hardest part was to try and live as a normal family because when Jim became disabled, he became disabled and wasn't able to work.

David Majure: The Danowskis had to find a new normal. That wasn't easy. They faced tremendous financial hardships and their social life disappeared.

Bonnie Danowski: I guess that's it. The social and the financial burden. The -- the loss of -- the loss of your friend. The loss of the intimacy of friendship and relationship. That's really hard. And the grieving, people don't really identify it as grieving, usually. But the grieving goes on and on and on. We think of grief as when someone dies or something, but when a person who has an illness like my husband, or a stroke, each time they lose one of their abilities, you grieve that. Because there's another part of the person lost. But the essence of the person is always there and that is what keeps the relationships together.

David Majure: They say love is blind and quite often, family caregivers are unable to see how their selfless act of caring is impairing their own mental and physical health.

Bonnie Danowski: It takes a toll. There were times when I was taking more medication than Jim was. So -- because I wasn't taking care of myself. And that's the reason I advocate for family caregivers, because I know they don't. We don't do it, and we need to. Because if we fall apart, you know, then who is going to take care of that person, besides that fact, we are, as individuals, important in -- and we need to honor ourselves and take care of ourselves. Period. So --

Ted Simons: Joining me to talk about services and support available to family caregivers is -- David Besst, a caregiver support specialist for the Arizona DES division of aging and adult services. He's also chairman of the Arizona caregiver coalition. And professor Dr. David Coon, associate vice provost of health outcomes at ASU. His research is focused on helping caregivers manage stress. Good to have you here.

Ted Simons: Is the Bonnie story familiar?

David Besst: Very familiar. And it's all too typical what she said about self-identification, because it's typically one of the biggest challenges we face is having caregivers actually recognize the situation they're in.

Ted Simons: When is it time for a family caregiver to realize, maybe I need some help? Maybe some respite care is what's going on? I mean, how do you know?

David Besst: It's tough actually and there's a couple of things we're doing right now in Arizona that are really important in that regard, in that we -- with Dr. Coon's help and ASU's help as part of our -- and ASU's help, when we encounter clients that call into DES or one of the agencies on aging, for example, and that tool is used for anyone that gets respite and on our website,, there's a link to an AMA self-assessment tool, which is a good tool that will give a caregiver where they stand in that continuum and where they need help.

Ted Simons: How much of -- how much can you quantify something like this?

David Coon: It's very hard to exactly quantify it. I think we're looking at what are key characteristics, lack of sleep, irritability. People not being able to respond in the way they did before, work performance impact. Financial strain. A lot of the things that Bonnie talked about, these are -- caregivers are the hidden patient. They're truly impacted, they're stepping up to the plate because we love and care about this individual, but the reality is it impacts the context in which they live. As far as your research, what are you seeing? How often do these scenarios play out? Are other family members doing their part, not just in helping with the relative, but telling the caregiver, you need time for yourself here?

David Coon: I think unfortunately, more times than not, it tends to fall on one person's shoulders. One person steps up or becomes identified because of their own life circumstance. Perhaps living with a parent. An adult child, or it's the spouse. And we know from the research is the reality that spouses are much less likely to identify themselves as a caregiver than the adult child that find themselves running across town to take care of mom, the neighbor called and complained there's smoke, mom left the stove on and it's starting to have -- is starting to have more and more memory problems. The parent -- the spouse, rather -- it's what I do. I've always done this for your dad. So they have a more difficult time.

Ted Simons: Someone is watching, you know what? I need help here. A family member could be watching, saying, I think dad, mom might need help. What help is available?

David Besst: There's a variety of support services. My primary job with DES is overseeing the national family caregivers' support program which comes out of the aging community but with programs like lifespan respite, lifespan denotes it's not caregivers of aging people. But also people that are caring for children with special needs or caring for their spouse, like Bonnie, that would not qualify for aging program funding, so what we're try doing is develop a collaborative process so we can bring together the resources available to caregivers and make it easily accessible and that's one of the things that the coalition is trying to do.

Ted Simons: What are the resources that you would like to see emphasized most?

David Coon: There's clearly -- emphasized. But more and more what we see and know from our research and the reasons we develop programs we do, often they need skills in managing stress and the behavior problems that might come along with dementia. We've developed partnerships with David's group and the Alzheimer's association and the area agency on aging to teach people how to communicate in their families and manage the situations more effectively.

Ted Simons: We were talking unpaid caregivers, talking $9 billion in services every year in Arizona. Alone.

David Besst: It's a pretty amazing thing. It breaks down to about 80% of all of the in-home care provided that keeps people living at home independently. 80% of the care is provided by a loved one for no compensation. It's easy to see if you took away that -- that prominent form of support, that's why we need the support -- to support caregivers because they provide most of the actual support for those trying to live independently outside of facilities.

Ted Simons: Last question -- Go ahead.

David Coon: Our whole long-term care system would collapse if we had to pay for this.

Ted Simons: What do you folks to take from this, to understand?

David Coon: I think it's critical they begin to recognize the family members that are providing care and how if they're the primary person, they reach out. If they're a person not providing the care, what can they do? You can mow the lawn for mom, so she doesn't have to worry if she's taking care of dad.
Ted Simons: Good conversation. Thank you for joining us.

David Besst: Thank you.

David Coon: Thank you.