Tonight at 6:00 PM at Satellite High, there will be a community / townhall meeting with local government leaders, school administrations, and law enforcement in attendance. The driving force behind this gathering is the brutal assault of 17 year old Daniel Vukovich. Three other teens have been charged in that assault. What seemed like immediately following that assault, the body of Catherine Gachet Looby was found at a construction site. Add to these criminal events are the incidents of break-ins, shootings and stabbings up in Cocoa Beach and parents of local teenagers are rightfully concerned as these incidents seemed to come out of the blue.
Not many parents suspected the existence of the underlying drug culture within the Satellite Beach that seems to have been the cause of the attack on Vukovich. It is almost as if parents felt there was some invisible wall around Satellite Beach that would insulate it against the rest of the outside world.
The folly of that belief has been exposed.
We have friends who have worked with thousands of kids through the years. One friend in particular has probably worked with and interacted with tens of thousands of kids.
So as we sat down to write this post, we also thought of conversations we had with these friends over the course of the years and want to share some of the things we learned, implemented in our lives, and have found to be true.
First, we are concerned the tonight’s meeting will be focused on the actions of teenagers. Parents full of angst and worry will come to the meeting wondering what to do. Those parents of teens will have legitimate questions. Missing from the conversation may be the parents of younger kids – those in elementary school and even younger. What many parents don’t seem to know or recognize is that the raising of a child prior to the age of 13 affects how they will act as a teen and perhaps even after that.
For example, that kid who screams and yells in a store without a parent doing anything about it will learn that being a brat or a punk is acceptable. Kids that are disrespectful to adults without correction will learn that disrespect is acceptable. When a kid becomes a teenager, the light kicks on and suddenly the parent is the same as the other adults and therefore can be disrespected. Kids who see their parents drink to excess, upon becoming a teen will also seek alcohol or something else. If you want to see your teen treat a woman with respect and care, or if you want to see your daughters treated with respect, look at how you are treating your wife. Wives, look at how you treat your husbands. Your teenage children will more than likely follow the example you set when they were much younger.
You see, it is all about voices. It is all about the voices the child and teen have in their ears. (more…)
Our friend William Teach over at the Pirate’s Cove writes about 11 year old kid who was suspended from school in Virginia for…..well, the reason is part of the story.
Earlier this school year, a sixth-grader in the gifted-and-talented program at Bedford Middle School in Bedford, Virginia was suspended for one year after an assistant principal found something that looked like a marijuana leaf in his backpack.
The student, the 11-year-old son of two school teachers, had to enroll in the district’s alternative education program and be homeschooled. He was evaluated by a psychiatrist for substance abuse problems, and charged with marijuana possession in juvenile court. In the months since September, he’s become withdrawn, depressed, and he suffers from panic attacks. He is worried his life is over, according to his mother, and that he will never get into college.
The only problem? The “leaf” found in the student’s backpack wasn’t what authorities thought it was — it tested negative for marijuana three separate times.
One of those times it tested for not being marijuana was when the leaf was in the possession of Bedford Middle School Assistant Principal Brian Wilson – before the police were called and before the kid was charged with possession. When asked about the test on the leaf at an administrative hearing….
The assistant principal hemmed and hawed “and finally he got around to it and said ‘I’m not qualified to interpret the results of the field test,’ ” Bruce Bays said.
That answer brings up all sorts of questions, the least of which is “if you aren’t qualified to test the leaf and interpret the results, why are you testing the leaf to begin with? To what end?” (more…)
The Final Four in the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament is decided this weekend and in the honor of the teams excellence, we want to note the people and teams who contribute to what can be called “March Badness.”
We guarantee that one thing these “fails” have in common is that someone thought it was a great idea to try them.
Imagine seeing color for the first time in your life.
Imagine if you can, after years of not seeing reds and greens you were able to see those colors.
Valspar (yes, the paint people) teamed up with a research company called “EnChroma” to make glasses which allow red / green color blind people to see in color.
Watch a short video of people using the glasses for the first time:
Nearly 300 million people experience the world without certain colors every day. ‘Color For the Colorblind’ is a short documentary about what happened when we partnered with EnChroma, maker of color blindness-correcting glasses, to help people experience colors for the first time. We believe in #ColorForAll.
More information on the technology and obtaining the glasses can be found on the EnChroma website.
The site also has a very basic test for color blindness which you can take. The test is not a medical opinion, but it does give people a “jumping off” point to seek the help of an eye care professional.
Valspar and EnChroma have managed to make the world a little more colorful for some people, and that’s a good thing.
Editor’s Note: This story contains anguage which some may find objectionable and NSFW. Omitting the language removes a key element of the article and so we have chosen to use the language.
The University of Mary Washington is a liberal arts college located in Fredericksburg, Virginia whose slogan is “where great minds go to work.” From what we can discern, those “great minds” are like a 1965 Mustang with a slipping clutch – you may say you’re great, but you aren’t going anywhere fast.
The story begins in November 2014 at an off campus house rented by two players on the University student / “club” rugby team (Mother’s Rugby Club) and a female student. By all accounts, a few dozen men and women were there including eight of the 46 members of the rugby team as the rest of the team was in Maryland playing. There is no indication that the party was an “official” rugby team party that was sanctioned by the team itself. The party was loud and raucous partly in celebration of a win by the team. People at the party began to chant a version of a 1920’s song “Walking Down Canal Street.” The lyrics at the party went like this:
The blockbuster hit Jurassic Park is brought to life in LEGO as a father, daughter and all their friends combine over $100,000 of LEGO pieces to make this epic stop-motion production.
We have two thoughts on this project, the first being “$100,000 of Lego pieces?”
In any universe that is a LOT of money and LEGO’s.
The second thought is that in this day and age where parents don’t seem to spend time with their kids or allow things such as video games and movies to entertain parents and kids together, here is a father and daughter who teamed up with friends to make something quite special. We would imagine that as the pieces were being assembled and shots were being laid out for the stop animation, the father, daughter and friends just talked, laughed and had fun being together.
One of the issues that is sure to remain at the top of political discussions through the 2016 elections and beyond is that of immigration.
Our position has remained fairly consistent on immigration in that we are against illegal immigrants in the country. In addition, if an individual or company knowingly hires an illegal immigrant, they too should pay a price for aiding an illegal action.
With that in mind, we were gobsmacked by an article on Courthouse News.com describing the alleged actions of Raul Oropeza Lopez, 47, and his wife Ana Maria Oropeza, 41, both of Delano, California.
In a complaint put forth by prosecutors, the government lays out accusations of a scheme that netted Lopez and Oropeza over $1.8 million dollars over from 2008 through 2014.
Lopez worked as a contractor for an employment agency for workers in the “grape country” of California. Lopez would fraudulently obtain Social Security numbers and employment ID’s from people who were legally allowed to work in the United States, but were out of the country. In some cases, the information was “loaned” in return for favors granted to the individual. In other cases, it is alleged that Lopez simply stole the ID’s of people without their knowledge.
The workers Lopez hired were then sent out into the workplace and fields for all intents and purposes looking as if they were legal workers.
At the end of the growing seasons, the workers were sent on their merry way while Lopez and Oropeza filed unemployment claims with the government for the workers who were illegally employed to begin with. Lopez and his wife had the money sent to different locations, post office boxes, etc., which they they collected and pocketed themselves. They also set up fake bank accounts using the names and information of the “employees” which allowed them to control the checks mailed from California’s Unemployment Division. When California went to electronic funds transfers to pay unemployment benefits, the feds say Lopez and Oropeza withdrew the money from the accounts via an ATM and then deposited the money in their own accounts.