New Year, New Lives, New Leaders
By Maria Dibble
Thoughts and memories cascade through my head in a maelstrom of words and images, none of them stopping to let me catch one, even for a brief moment, as I try to write my last editorial in this newsletter as STIC’s Executive Director.
I stand on the cusp of two worlds, the one I’ve known and loved for the last 40 years, and the new unknown vista that is spreading out before me, that of my retirement. It is hard to find the words that can express the mixture of emotions that defines me in this moment, certainly joy and celebration in the knowledge that I’ve always done the best I could, that I’ve stuck to my principles and done what I thought was right. Of course, there is the sadness and loss for what I haven’t yet accomplished, the grief of letting go of something I love very much, but most of all the sorrow of knowing that people are still confined to institutions and being denied their rights.
By Ken Dibble
As my last days as your faithful Editor (and various other things) here at STIC wind down, my mind is full of many thoughts. It’s a very emotional time.
My strongest feeling now is gratitude. I am so grateful for the opportunities I was given back in 1987, when I started here as a part-time TTY operator; in 1988, when I graduated to full-time grant-writer; and again in the early 90s, when I took over the newsletter and began managing our (primitive) computer systems: opportunity to escape the soul-stealing emotional hell of OPWDD and still work in a field I had come to love; to do jobs that used my greatest strengths—writing and computers; to be in a place where my idiosyncrasies and interpersonal limitations were first tolerated, and, later, understood and accepted as harmless; to be allowed to make important contributions to this agency’s growth, and to the advancement of disability rights and integration. Through it all, I was given time to learn almost everything that I now know on the job, a privilege most people don’t have, and to prove my value to STIC distinct from my relationship to its founder and Executive Director. I can’t thank those who made all this happen for me enough.
Clean Audits and a Smoking Gun
You may recall that some right-wing anti-Medicaid media gadflies have persistently accused the state’s Medicaid program of wasteful spending generally, and claimed that the CDPA program in particular is riddled with fraud (see AccessAbility Winter 2022-23, for example).