Kansas State students built this charming affordable home for low-income families

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A group of fifth year architecture students at Kansas State University teamed up with local firms El Dorado and Studio Build to design and build an affordable two-unit dwelling for low-income families. The Waldo Duplex, built for $200 per square foot, comprises carefully designed spaces that strategically share and enhance natural light.

The duplex, built on a small budget of $290,000, is located in a historic area of Kansas City, Missouri, dominated by single-family bungalows and shotgun homes…. View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building



Elon Musk supports former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State

Tesla CEO and carbon tax advocate Elon Musk appears to have thrown his support behind President Donald Trump’s Secretary of State pick, former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson who also received an Order of Friendship from Russian president Vladimir Putin. So it makes sense many people were shocked at Musk’s support, and he took to Twitter to defend his backing, saying Tillerson actually “supports a carbon tax.” View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson says Trump is wrong about climate change

In a startling statement during his Wednesday confirmation hearing to become Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson publically disagreed with Donald Trump’s positions on climate change. While the President-Elect has stated he wants to withdraw from the Paris agreement, and has characterized climate change as an anti-American “hoax,” Tillerson told Congress, “I think it’s important that the United States maintain its seat at the table on the conversations around how to address the threats of climate… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

California officially becomes the first state to ban plastic bags

 

If you’re looking to make environmental lemonade out of the giant lemon that was this week’s presidential election, you can look toward California where citizens have voted in favor of a law that will ban plastic shopping bags throughout the state. The measure makes the state the first in the union to ban the bag.

According to Ballotpedia, the California Plastic Bag Veto Referendum (Proposition 67) was approved by voters on Nov. 8 approved by a narrow margin of 51.97% in… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green BuildingEco funeral – Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

California Becomes the Fourth State with a Death with Dignity Statute

In a historic decision today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the End of Life Option Act into law!

With the Governor’s signature, thirty-nine million Californians joined the residents of Oregon, Washington, and Vermont in having the option, should they be terminally ill with less than 6 months to live, to end their lives in a humane and dignified manner.

Please join us in signing this Thank You card to the Governor for his compassionate decision.

The enormity of our victory cannot be understated. Not only have the months of our work crafting the bill, campaigning and strategizing with the sponsors in the California Senate and Assembly paid off, all qualified West Coast residents now have the option to die with dignity. We’ve achieved monumental progress for all Americans who want the freedom to make their own end-of-life decisions.

The Governor’s decision is certain to reverberate across the nation. You’ll be hearing from us about that in the coming weeks as more remains to be done in California to ensure smooth implementation of the law and even more in 46 additional states that do not have a Death with Dignity law. For now, please join us in celebrating freedom winning the day.

View full post on Death with Dignity National Center

California Becomes the Fourth State with a Death with Dignity Law

In a historic decision today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the End of Life Option Act into law!

With the Governor’s signature, thirty-nine million Californians joined the residents of Oregon, Washington, and Vermont in having the option, should they be terminally ill with less than 6 months to live, to end their lives in a humane and dignified manner.

Please join us in signing this Thank You card to the Governor for his compassionate decision.

The enormity of our victory cannot be understated. Not only have the months of our work crafting the bill, campaigning and strategizing with the sponsors in the California Senate and Assembly paid off, all qualified West Coast residents now have the option to die with dignity. We’ve achieved monumental progress for all Americans who want the freedom to make their own end-of-life decisions.

The Governor’s decision is certain to reverberate across the nation. You’ll be hearing from us about that in the coming weeks as more remains to be done in California to ensure smooth implementation of the law and even more in 46 additional states that do not have a Death with Dignity law. For now, please join us in celebrating freedom winning the day.

View full post on Death with Dignity National Center

Washington State Releases 2014 Death with Dignity Report

The Washington State Department of Health yesterday released the 2014 annual report on the implementation of the Washington Death with Dignity Act. The figures underscore not only that only a small number of people use the law, but also that the Washington Death with Dignity Act continues to work flawlessly and provides ease of mind and relief to Washingtonians facing the end of life.

In 2014, 176 terminally ill Washington residents received a prescription under the Act to help hasten their death. This is a 2% increase over the previous year. Of patients with the prescription, 170 are known to have died: 126 after ingesting the medication and the rest either let the disease take its course or their status is unknown. Since 2008, when the Act went into effect, “725 adults with terminal illness have chosen to end their lives with a physician-prescribed lethal dose of medication,” according to the report.

Fifty-seven percent of participants in the Washington Death with Dignity Act were women. Ages ranged from 21 to 101 years. A vast majority, 92 percent, were Caucasian, and 75 percent had at least some post-secondary education.

Cancer was the underlying illness for 3 out of 4 participants, ALS contributed with 13 percent. Ninety-three percent of patients had some form of insurance.

The three chief end-of-life concerns for the Death with Dignity Act participants who have died were losing the ability to engage in activities that make life enjoyable, losing autonomy, and losing dignity. Ninety-two percent of patients died at home, five in a long-term care facility. Ninety-six percent of patients experienced no complications after ingesting the medication.

View full post on Death with Dignity National Center

So You Want to Pass a Death with Dignity Law in Your State

The number one constituent question we get at the National Center is, “what do I need to do to pass a Death with Dignity law in my state?” The answer is never easy because enacting a Death with Dignity law through the legislative process or ballot initiative is a complex, time-intensive, and expensive endeavor.

In a legislative environment, lawmakers are afraid of legislation focused on death even though repeated polls show a majority of Americans support Death with Dignity laws. Ballot initiatives are costly and time-consuming, requiring years of background work and the engagement of expensive professional political advisors nearly every step of the way.

The unfortunate reality is, while there’s a lot of activity and momentum in the New England region, not every state is ready to move forward immediately with Death with Dignity policy reform.

There are, however, lots of things you can do in your own state to jumpstart momentum and engage others in your request to push for reform, and I’m writing a five-part blog post about different ways to begin the process of legislative engagement in your state. Today’s post is focused on identifying allies because one thing is certain: you cannot do this alone.

Before you start, you need to understand your own commitment, including time and resource restraints. To effectively engage legislators, you may need to make a two to three year commitment of at least five hours a week. That’s a big investment of your time! Asking yourself whether you want to make that sort of commitment is important, because you’ll be asking others to join you. If you’re not willing, nor able, to make a commitment of that magnitude, there are other things you can do. Making the decision to go forward as a catalyst for statewide reform should be made with much deliberation and consultation with your family and friends.

If you really want to work on pushing Death with Dignity policy reform into the public debate, you’ll need a group of allies who share your passion. Realistically, you’ll need five or six people willing to invest approximately ten hours a month in volunteer time with the issue. To find such dedicated people—those who will become your “inner circle” of confidantes—you may need to approach 25-30 (or even more) potential volunteers.

This process may seem daunting, but you’ll repeat it over and over again throughout the time you’re engaged with the issue. In politics, when you don’t have big money, you have to have people…and our movement is all about people. It’ll get easier the more you do it. And, there are two wonderful things you’ll uncover: there’s more support in your community for Death with Dignity than you realize and people have the most amazing (and sometimes, tragic) stories to share.

For the most part, you’ll want to have individual meetings with potential volunteers. In these earliest of days, public meetings are not your friend. Ask five friends to tea; ask another five to join you for happy hour. Talk to five people at your church or synagogue, on your bowling league, or at your fitness club. Listen to their stories, and see what happens. You’ll find an ally willing to do this work with you, and then another.

Drop me an email and let me know your progress, and enjoy the stories.

Next up: Engaging Allies and Learning the Issue

View full post on Death with Dignity National Center

Vermont Becomes the 3rd State with a Death with Dignity Law

With Governor Shumlin's signature on May 20, 2013, Vermont became the third state in the nation with a Death with Dignity law–the first one to be enacted through a legislative process and first of its kind on the east coast.

This historic accomplishment was the culmination of over ten years of work by our partners in the state, Patient Choices Vermont, and their president Dick Walters has diligently led the way the entire time. Over the years, many experts on Oregon's law traveled to Vermont to help lawmakers and voters learn more about these important laws, and one of these experts was George Eighmey who serves on the Death with Dignity National Center board of directors and, for 12 years, helped terminally ill Oregonians navigate Oregon's Death with Dignity law.

Melissa Barber from Death with Dignity National Center had the opportunity recently to chat with Dick Walters and George Eighmey about the impact of Vermont's new law allowing for Death with Dignity. Listen to the entire interview below.

View full post on Death with Dignity National Center