Dispatches > The Buzz

Faces

Issue: "Here we go again," Nov. 11, 2000
  • Sue Thomas, a 50-year-old deaf woman, single-handedly took on the state of Hawaii on behalf of disabled people. Her mission began when she traveled to Hawaii as a Christian motivational speaker. Upon arrival, authorities told Ms. Thomas to sleep at a quarantine holding facility because state quarantine laws forbade her hearing-ear dog Gracie from leaving. (The 76-pound golden retriever alerts Ms. Thomas to important sounds like fire alarms and car honks.) They eventually allowed Ms. Thomas to go to a hotel, but she plans to challenge Hawaii's quarantine laws in court next year. "Society did not make me deaf so society does not really owe me anything," she said. "But it is important to me that all disabled be able to experience the freedom that our society as a whole can experience."
  • Defying stereotypes about socially isolated homeschoolers, former homeschool student Holly Hay founded the first Young Republican club in Clallum County, Washington, last fall. The 19-year-old student at Bob Jones University was also the youngest alternative delegate at last summer's Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. She hopes to one day run for political office and defend unborn children. "I want to do all in my power to make abortion as hard to accomplish as possible," she said.
  • As Washington wages its seemingly perpetual "war on drugs," former schoolteacher Jackie Mixon is fighting battles in her own backyard-and winning. The battle began after she encouraged neighbors to stop renting their homes to drug dealers in her South Dallas, Texas, neighborhood. The dealers threatened reprisal. But she didn't back down. Instead, Mrs. Mixon organized prayer walks, neighborhood cleanups, and fundraisers for a neighborhood association. With the assistance of neighbors and local police, she drove out the drug dealers and now heads the Ideal Neighborhood Association.

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