Saturday, February 22, 2014

No. 85 – February 20, 2014 - What Our Children Are Learning

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

The best indicator for future success is how early you have your first job. Early experience builds character.

Ask Billionaire Richard Branson, who invented his first job with a friend when he was 11. The two boys bred parakeets and grew Christmas trees. Branson says he these weren't entirely successful, but he learned to persist.

Oil magnate T. Boone Pickens credits his first job delivering papers at age 12 with having taught him success as he expanded his territory.

Today America's children are losing these traditional avenues for learning along with others which good values once supported.

When Rex Dickey, Senior was growing up with his eleven siblings in Tonawanda, NY kids worked. Rex was expected to do chores around the house, do his school work, and respect his elders, solid values to build character.

When Rex was twelve he began his first paper route, like T. Pickens, finishing before school in the morning. His older brothers also had routes. Rex's Mom delivered papers to the delivery boys in the family van. Rex and his siblings were in the back, allotting papers to ensure each boy had enough for their route.

By example, families taught self-discipline, determination, and willingness to work early.

Public education offered other avenues as well.

Sports scholarships allowed kids who otherwise would be unable to attend college to do so. These scholarships meant deferring fun to practice and hit the books, transforming the lives of children who set their eyes on a goal years in the future.

Rex Dickey asks why these avenues to success are being denied to his, and other children, in Ashtabula. In Ashtabula kids now must pay $250 to participate in sports programs, slamming another door on the future.

Ashtabula's High school was moved to the Township, forcing kids to take buses. Was a cost analysis or population impact study done? One has to wonder, along with who deemed this necessary.

Then, over a year ago bus service was eliminated, leaving families scrambling to ensure their kids had transportation. Families, hit economically from all directions, are leaving Ashtabula. Too many absences caused by the lack of transportation began hitting parents who found themselves in court facing the choice of school or keeping their jobs.

Are families being punished for saying NO to increasing taxes used for new schools which do not serve as well?

Consider the issue of values, here, in Ashtabula.

Friday, February 21, 2014

New Evidence Exposes Gov. Kasich’s Role in PR Plan to Promote Fracking in State Parks

From:  EcoNews 

As reported Sunday, new evidence was released today showing Ohio Gov. Kasich’s involvement in the communications plan that detailed how the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) would “marginalize” opponents of fracking by teaming up with “allied” corporations—including Halliburton, business groups and media outlets—to promote this controversial drilling technique in state parks.
Barkcamp State Park in Belmont County Ohio is one of the Ohio State Parks that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will exercise state-owned drilling rights on.
Barkcamp State Park in Belmont County Ohio is one of the Ohio State Parks that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will exercise state-owned drilling rights on.

Wayne Struble, Gov. Kasich’s director of policy, sent out an invitation on Aug. 20, 2012 to eight of Kasich’s most senior staffers with the subject line: “State-Land Leasing—Strategy and Communications.” The subject line is nearly identical to the title of the original memo, Oil & Gas State Lands Leasing: Draft Outline for Communication Plan (8/20/12), created by the ODNR. The only other invited guests were top officials from the ODNR.
Among the Kasich staff invited to the meeting were: Gov. Kasich Communication Director Scott Milburn, Chief of Staff Beth Hansen, Senior Advisor Jai Chabria, former Director of Legislative Affairs Matt Carle (now Gov. Kasich’s campaign manager) and former Policy Advisor Craig Butler (now Kasich’s Ohio Environmental Protection Agency director)  MORE

Saturday, February 15, 2014

No. 84 – February 12, 2014 – Be My Valentine

by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

Valentine memories come in many kinds. I remember one year when I hired an actor who offered to provide an unforgettable experience for the one you love for $100. On the phone we went through the performance he offered. Bill, the actor, took notes.

I made a special dinner for my husband and our five children that night. Dessert was strawberry meringue torts slathered with whipped cream. We had just started eating these when the actor, Bill, popped in the unlocked front door. He said he would be dressed like Cupid, but I had not realized he also was shaped like cupid, round and chubby. He was wearing a quiver of arrows and holding a bow, dressed in a modest diaper. He filled the room with song and a sprinkling of confetti.

Prancing around our dining room he serenaded my dumb struck husband. Craig had never been quiet before, but his eyes were riveted on Bill, not noticing when confetti landed on his face. Cupid's song finished, Bill unfurled a scroll which I had written, addressed to Craig, my husband. On one knee he read the poem aloud, with additions of his own.

Then, Cupid handed valentines to the kids, ages 23 – 6, and trilling a final farewell, he vanished.

I enjoyed every minute of it, still smiling when I remember today.

But the reality of Valentine's Day is very different and much more poignant and compelling.

The man who comes down to us as Saint Valentine was executed for secretly marrying couples in violation of the Edict of Emperor Claudias the Second in the year 269AD. The ban came from the theory unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what could happen to their wives or families if they died..
Valentine performed marriages for Christians despite the ban. He was caught, imprisoned and tortured. While in prison he performed miracles which included returning the sight of a young girl, this resulting in her father, Asterius' conversion to the Christian faith. 
Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation because of his stand for Christian marriage. The last words he wrote were in a note written to Asterius' daughter, signed, "from your Valentine." 
One day in a year to fill with memories. Love connects us to each other. Love lavishly and let your heart speak.