the News - Friday, June 26, 2009
this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
OF KAWEAH COUNTRY
TRUS staff face cuts
2009-2010 budget approved
In these uncertain economic times, virtually
every public agency in California is struggling to
agree upon a realistic budget. At Wednesday night’s
regular meeting, the Three Rivers Union School District’s
board of trustees approved the new fiscal year (2009-2010)
budget but not without some tense moments.
The biggest culprit appears to be a declining
student enrollment that is projected to be 155 in
the new school year. That’s down another 18
students from the past year and nearly 100 students
from a decade ago.
That makes trying to plot the Average
Daily Attendance (ADA) revenue a nightmare, especially
while local administrators wait to see what, if anything,
ever again trickles down from Sacramento. State budget
woes are downright depressing, and it’s putting
a damper on small school districts like Three Rivers.
Now the local district’s budget
has some open wounds caused by a steep decline in
revenue, and the situation will likely worsen before
it gets better.
The Wednesday, June 24, meeting opened
with a brief closed session where Sue Sherwood, superintendent/principal
of the school district for 14 years, agreed to forgo
a one percent step pay raise in the new school year
and will be paid the same salary as last year. The
public hearing portion of the agenda began by approving
a move of 15 funding categories within the budget
from “restricted” to “unrestricted.”
These categories — like deferred
maintenance, peer assistance, school safety, and others
— all appeared to be items that could furnish
much-needed cash in the event of an emergency. Then
Superintendent Sherwood conducted a line-by-line review
of each section of the nearly 100-page budget document.
There really wasn’t anything controversial
until the proposed cuts in classified contracts were
discussed. The hours of all 11 of these employees,
which include everybody from instructional aides to
the custodian, were being cut. In some cases, the
most senior employees, who have experienced deep cuts
recently, received the deepest cuts.
Beth Rohrkemper, an instructional aide, had her hours
cut from 30 in 2008 to 25 beginning Fall 2009. Rohrkemper,
an aide at TRUS since 1985, said she expected the
cuts in hours, but was told that they would not exceed
Valerie Abanathie, retired TRUS employee
and current trustee, objected to the cuts exceeding
10 percent. She rescinded her previous yes vote on
the budget because the document contained, she said,
some new things that were not in the preliminary documents
presented to the board.
The projected 2009-2010 budget calls
for revenues of $1,171,665 with expenditures of $1,156,126.
The expenditures of 2008-2009 were slightly more at
Sherwood said that the budget is not
final for another 45 days, and she would search for
other areas that might be cut instead of the ones
proposed for classified employees. Teachers, who are
certified employees, were given a one-percent step
increase in the 2009-2010.
Bob Burke, a career high school teacher in Visalia
and longtime trustee, said he knows that Three Rivers
is in the unenviable position of not really being
able to pay a “livable wage.”
Now and in the past, salary was not always
the first priority of teachers who wanted to both
live and work in Three Rivers. Apparently, that’s
the case with Katie (Crawford) St. Martin, who was
hired as the new kindergarten teacher.
St. Martin has taught in Woodlake for
the past six years. She was chosen from more than
90 applicants, mainly because she was already credentialed
and was willing to work as a part-time (75 percent)
Trustee Abanathie also objected to the
manner in which St. Martin was selected and again
was the sole no vote among the five board members.
After some discussion, the board agreed to draft a
formal hiring procedure.
Copies of the proposed budget are on
file at the TRUS office and may be inspected during
regular business hours.
The next regular board meeting of the
TRUS trustees will be Tuesday, July 7. The meeting
was rescheduled from the usual Wednesday evening so
Superintendent Sherwood and Linda Warner, teacher,
can attend the Edible Schoolyard Academy in Berkeley
on July 9 and 10.
Tuition to attend the popular academy,
which instructs school staff on curriculum to teach
students to grow (and eat) more vegetables is $400
per participant. This is being paid by a donation
from the Three Rivers Woman’s Club while Sherwood
and Warner will pay their own travel expenses.
Horse Creek Campground to reopen
Now when Lake Kaweah levels drop, it’s
a mixed blessing, but it hasn’t always been
that way. In terms of recreation facilities, we lose
some and gain some, but we have more water a lot longer.
Before the basin was expanded in 2004,
in a dry year the lake’s pool could be barely
more than a big mud puddle by the Fourth of July weekend.
Not so anymore, and take this year (70 percent of
normal snowpack) as an excellent indicator.
As water levels drop, the days are numbered
until the new boat ramp at Slick Rock is left high
and dry. But simultaneously, the old No. 2 boat ramp
can reopen, which it did earlier this week.
Then the campground can be reopened and
that facility is scheduled to start booking sites
again as soon as this weekend.
Phil Deffenbaugh, Lake Kaweah general
manager, said that if current release levels hold,
recreational users could be in an unprecedented position.
“It’s conceivable that we would be able
to keep the ramp at Slick Rock open until after the
busy holiday weekend,” Deffenbaugh said. “There’s
still plenty of water for everyone, better parking
options, and more choices than most folks are used
to at Lake Kaweah for this time of year.”
One of those choices will be a special
July 4th open house at Slick Rock being jointly hosted
by Lake Kaweah and the Sequoia Foothills Chamber of
Commerce. Plans are being finalized for the gala celebration
and it’s bound to feature some good old-fashioned
festive fun on the Fourth.
The lake storage is currently at 73 percent
and is dropping two vertical feet per day. The current
elevation as of Thursday, June 26, was 687.28.
Fish mysteriously die at Lake
According to several reports, there was
a massive fish kill at Lake Kaweah that had some local
fisherman wondering what might be plaguing the local
fishery. The dead fish started washing up on the shoreline
three weeks ago.
Phil Deffenbaugh, general manager at
Lake Kaweah, estimated that between 1,000 and 2,000
fish were killed. The kill, he said, was confined
exclusively to carp, a notorious bottom feeder related
genetically to their more famous domesticated cousins
— goldfish and Japanese koi.
Carp are a highly prized food fish in
Europe and Asia. In the U.S., the carp species is
less popular because it tends to eradicate more popular
game fish with which it competes for aquatic resources.
Similar fish kills has been reported
recently at Lake Mojave and Lake Havasu. California
Department of Fish and Game scientists believe that
a herpes-like virus is responsible for the fish kills
that only affect carp. As water temperatures warm
in the late spring, the virus becomes more prevalent
impacting the gill function and causing secondary
The Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) has already
been determined to be the source of the Mojave fish
die-off and is probably related to the Havasu kill
owing to the fact that the lake is downstream. Lake
officials at Havasu and Kaweah are awaiting the pathology
results from the California Department of Fish and
The virus is not harmful to humans although
handling of the infected species is not advisable.
Like invasive species, KHV may be transported by mussels
or other aquatic growth that attaches to the hulls
of recreational boats being transported for use at
on Measure R and
by David Harrald
Back in 2006, the citizens of Tulare
County passed Measure R to generate a projected $652
million over 30 years to Tulare County for transportation
projects. Almost three years later, the half-cent
sales tax revenue has exceeded expectations.
With this funding, we’ve been able
to accomplish things we never could have afforded
in the past. Even now, amidst uncertain economic times,
Measure R funds continue to allow us to repair and
improve our roads, enhance transit services countywide,
expand the network of bike trails, and improve our
I would like to take this opportunity
to give everyone a current look at what Measure R
has done for us since its passage. Keep in mind that
in the next five years, over $400 million of construction
projects are planned and many of those projects wouldn’t
be completed without Measure R funds.
Since July 2007, our cities and county
have spent $15.7 million in Measure R local program
funding to pay for everything from pothole repair
to road rehabilitation to freeway interchange improvements.
This funding makes up 35 percent of Measure R expenditures.
This money has been spent by each individual city
and the County of Tulare based on the needs of the
For instance, the City of Dinuba had
not been able to do a citywide street maintenance
project in years. With Measure R local program funds,
the City of Dinuba combined its Measure R funding
with other sources and completed a $6.5 million citywide
street improvement project in just one year.
The City of Exeter sealed and protected
more than 700,000 square feet of its roads —
more than it normally would have been able to do on
The City of Lindsay used its Measure
R funding to resurface downtown streets, do intersection
improvements, and resurface Tulare Road, a heavily
used road in need of repair.
Late last year, we saw the first use
of Measure R funds for regional projects — projects
that provide for the movement of goods, services,
and people throughout Tulare County. This regional
funding makes up 50 percent of Measure R revenue.
Since Measure R was implemented, $3.5
million has been spent to fund regional projects,
including the widening of Road 80 just north of Visalia,
the Avenue 416/Road 56 signal project just west of
Dinuba, and the Santa Fe/SR-198 overcrossing. By the
end of the year, we’ll also see work begin on
a regional project in Porterville: the widening of
Scranton and Indiana.
These are projects that will help everyone
in Tulare County, not just those people who live in
the immediate area. In the next five years, we’ll
see $120 million go to regional projects funded by
Measure R, which will include work on the widening
of Road 108 to four lanes within the City of Tulare,
the widening of Avenue 416 from Road 56 to Road 80,
the widening of Betty Drive to four lanes from Highway
99 to Road 80, and the widening of Caldwell Avenue.
Again, without Measure R, these roads
would most likely continue to deteriorate as transportation
budgets become more limited in this economy. Further,
the City of Tulare and the County of Tulare have leveraged
Measure R funding through matching funds of state
money for a total of $30 million in funding for railroad
overcrossings/grade separations in the City of Tulare.
Measure R has also helped improve the
network of bike paths in Tulare County. Fourteen percent
of Measure R’s budget goes to transit, bike,
and environmental improvements.
To date we’ve spent $1.1 million
on bike projects. Much of the work in this category
is not yet complete, but agencies are actively working
to complete projects such as bike and trail improvements.
For example, with Measure R funding, the City of Visalia
has hired a consultant to do design improvements to
the Packwood Creek Trail in Visalia.
This summer, we will also see work begin
on a bridge project on Cameron Creek at Mooney Grove
Park. Additionally, Measure R is helping to fund crosswalks,
ramps compliant with the Americans with Disabilities
Act, lighting, and trailhead improvements along the
Santa Fe bike trail in Tulare.
Transit improvements, also included in
the 14 percent funding category, have also been plentiful
thanks to $1.9 million in Measure R funding. That
funding has helped ensure that more buses are running
to serve some of the most popular routes.
Service hours have been extended on weekends
and holidays, routes countywide have been expanded,
and new routes have been formed to serve residents
in rural areas who rely on transit. One of the first
uses of Measure R funds helped start the Loop Bus,
which takes youth from Goshen to recreation centers
in Visalia to make sure they have access to safe and
supervised activities throughout the summer months.
These are just some of the great improvements
we’ve seen Measure R accomplish in the past
two-and-a-half years. The good news is that more great
work is on the way.
I invite anyone who would like to learn
more about Measure R to attend a meeting of the Citizens’
Oversight Committee. We meet quarterly and our next
meeting is on Monday, Aug. 10.
For more information on this meeting
and Measure R, go to www.TCMeasureR.com
or call Ramon Lara, Measure R coordinator, 713-3017.
David Harrald is the
chairman of the Measure R Citizens’ Oversight
3R artists take part in
of Yokohl Valley’
Well over a year ago, a group of artists
and friends attended a scoping meeting in Exeter to
offer input on the Yokohl Ranch planned community.
“We were shocked to grasp the huge size and
scope of the planned development,” said Mona
Fox Selph of Three Rivers, a professional artist and
member of the Tulare County Citizens for Responsible
Growth. “We realized the impact it will have
on the health and environment of all of the citizens
and wildlife of Tulare County.
Mona was a friend of the late Ray Strong
(1905-2006), a renowned landscape painter who spent
his final years in Three Rivers. Ray was a founding
member of the Oaks Group, a collection of artists
from the Santa Barbara area that held numerous shows
over several decades to raise public awareness and
funds, and as a result saved hundreds of acres of
beautiful coastline from development.
Mona approached Kevin Bowman, director
of Arts Visalia with the idea of a show about Yokohl
Valley. Kevin consented, and the result of this collaboration
will be a month-long exhibit entitled “Views
of Yokohl Valley.”
Mona will have several paintings on display.
Father John Griesbach is currently working on two
paintings for the exhibit.
Other Three Rivers artists have been
invited to participate, including painters, photographers,
and various other media.
Views of Yokohl Valley will debut in
July at the Arts Visalia gallery at 214 E. Oak Ave.
(across of The Depot restaurant). A reception with
the artists will be held Friday, July 10, 6 to 8 p.m.
Blue Thong Society
in Three Rivers
by Brian Rothhammer
Blue what?, you ask. That’s right,
The Blue Thongs have arrived in Three
On June 18, 2009, a local chapter of
the Blue Thong Society was formed. Their inaugural
meeting was held in the Middle Fork of the Kaweah
You may have heard about the national
Red Hat Society. Their local chapter is called the
Kaweah Kuties. This new group of gals — who
have dubbed themselves the “Riveritas”
— share similar goals but dare to be even more
Attending this auspicious occasion were
the chapter director or “Top Thong” Janene
Lasswell and four charter Riveritas: Bev Drewry, Debbie
Jo Bird, Karen McIntyre, and Lillie Hart. There was
little formality, no sergeant-at-arms, no Robert’s
Rules of Order whatsoever. They do, however, have
Just who, or what, is a Blue Thong? A
blue thong could be a flip-flop sandal or a fabric-deprived
swimsuit of an azure tone. Their logo looks like either
or both, or a bit like the Shmoo character in the
old Li’l Abner cartoon strip.
The Blue Thong Society is a new organization
founded in 2006 by four friends. A year prior, one
of them was approaching her 50th birthday. When one
friend suggested the gift of a red hat, another retorted
that Mary Jo Wallo was more of a red thong sort of
gal. That irreverent remark inspired an irreverent,
yet socially productive society.
You see, these aren’t (necessarily)
crazed women running about in skimpy attire and cheesy
These women have a mission and a purpose.
The blue in Blue Thong was chosen as it represents
the emotions of sympathy, harmony, friendship, and
“The Blue Thong Society is about attitude: sassy,
irreverent, strong, fierce, and fun,” according
to the group’s literature. “It’s
also about giving back. This altruism-with-attitude
is what keeps the group going, and growing.”
And grow they have, with over 300 chapters
and 6,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Each chapter of the BTS must choose a
local cause or charity to support, and the Riveritas
have chosen the local Bread Basket food pantry. In
addition, the Blue Thong Society Project Foundation
has plans to build “Blue Houses” for deserving
Enough of that business stuff.
“We are not a business or professional network
or group,” said Janene. “We avoid that.
Our motto is ‘Fight Frump.’”
Their sponsor is a vodka distiller whose
product “is really good, by the way, and comes
in a beautiful blue bottle,” attested Janene.
“Our agenda [at the first meeting] was to pick
the name Riveritas, learn to make the BTS signature
drinks, the Thongatini and the Thongarita [although
neither alcohol consumption nor the wearing of the
thong are prerequisites of membership], and to adopt
the Bread Basket as our local cause.”
“We had a blast,” said Janene of the first
meeting. “You’d see women there…
just having fun… who usually are too busy with
work, family, etc., to take time out for each other.
It was the first warm day of the season and the river
was just right for swimming.”
Several members plan to attend the BTS
regional event in Camarillo next month and, in April
2010, the BTS National Convention in New Orleans,
La. Last year, over 200 BTS members went on the second
annual “Fight Frump” conference and cruise
aboard the Carnival Cruise’s Elation to Cabo
San Lucas, Mexico.
Annual dues for membership in the Blue
Thong Society are $30 (plus a donation to the “lush
fund”). Check out the national BTS website at
For information about joining the local
Riverita chapter, contact Janene Lasswell at 561-0900.
Measure R funds
work in Woodlake
In March, Measure R funds collected from
Tulare County sales tax were used in Three Rivers
to widen, and according to a Tulare County public
works engineer, make the Cherokee Oaks Bridge safer.
Now more of the half-cent increase in sales tax revenue
is being used in Woodlake for overdue road repairs.
Work was started last week citywide in
Woodlake on a project to chipseal a number of streets
with a material that uses recycled tires, said Ruben
DeLeon, superintendent of public works for the City
of Woodlake. The city is using $368,477 in Measure
R funds so that the badly needed maintenance work
can be done now.
“Without this funding, these roads would not
have been repaired for at least another 10 years,”
said DeLeon. “People will really appreciate
this repair work when it’s finally completed.”
The City of Woodlake was allocated $750,000
in Measure R local program funds but because the contract
came in under budget, Woodlake will be able to get
even more done as a part of the innovative program.
The rubberized chipseal, which is formulated with
melted tires, will extend the life of some of Woodlake’s
heaviest used arterial streets from seven years to
DeLeon said the chipseal process is not
only good for motorists who drive the streets of Woodlake
but this project is good for the environment too.
A similar recycled rubberized material will also be
used in the new all-weather track scheduled to be
installed around Leo Robinson Field at Woodlake High
Volunteer ‘Trail Trekkers’
Expanding on the successful River Rovers
program, rangers in the Mineral King area of Sequoia
National Park are beginning a similar program to keep
hikers safe on trails. But the success is dependent
on the amount of people who volunteer.
Trail Trekkers will work directly under
the supervision of a park ranger while exploring the
Mineral King trails and sharing their knowledge and
experience with visitors. Volunteers will also report
trail conditions and any other observations to park
Prospective Trail Trekkers will receive
training from rangers.
This volunteer group is modeled after
the River Rover program that has the goal of eliminating
drowning and other river emergencies in the foothills
area of Sequoia National Park.
In fact, a River Rover is directly associated with
helping to save a life on Saturday, May 30, when he
radioed park dispatch to report that a 23-year-old
man had fallen into the Kaweah River near the Hospital
Rock picnic area. The victim was apparently rough-housing
with a companion when he slipped off a rock and entered
the current, which swept him to a submerged rock where
he was able to stand up in the cold, waist-deep water.
Rangers arrived on-scene and were able
to rescue the young man. He was treated for mild hypothermia.
Drowning is the number-one cause of death
in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The River
Rovers are having a positive impact on this dire statistic.
Now the Trail Trekkers will be keeping
hikers and resources safe by educating people on trail
etiquette, informing them of route options that meet
the hikers’ abilities, and more.
For information on either program or
to volunteer, call Denise Robertson, 565-3132.
Roadwork ongoing in Sequoia
An improvement project involving about
nine miles of Generals Highway between Wolverton Road
and Little Baldy summit, including Wuksachi Road,
began Tuesday, June 9, in Sequoia National Park.
Plans call for the surface of the highway
to be pulverized and graded and new asphalt to be
laid over the next five months. Additional work to
repair and install culverts and to remove and replace
curbs will be performed in conjunction with the road
The project will be divided into three
segments; work on the first segment has already begun.
This stretch of road extends from the Wolverton Road
intersection to the Wuksachi Road intersection.
Initial work on this segment of the project will affect
the highway between Lodgepole Road and Wolverton Road.
The project manager said the contractor’s
intent is to keep one lane of traffic moving continuously.
However, motorists are advised to expect slight delays
on approximately a mile-long stretch of the highway
Current plans call for continuous traffic
flow throughout the project area outside the segments
under construction and for flagging to facilitate
surveying requirements for the project.
The next segment of the project will
take in the highway from the Halstead picnic area
turnout to about 1,000 feet north of Little Baldy
summit, the highest point along the Generals Highway.
The tentative start for this segment will be in early
The third and last part of the project
includes the stretch of highway approximately 1,000
feet south of the Wuksachi Road intersection to the
Halstead picnic area turnout. Work on this segment
is expected to begin in early September.
The current construction will impact
travelers mainly if they are trying to drive from
one park to the other. For the most part, visitors
who view the main attractions in either Sequoia or
Kings Canyon will not even notice the roadwork.
Rehabilitation of the Generals Highway
has been ongoing since 1996. Construction of the highway
into Sequoia was completed in 1926.
Guide for Positive Change:
crashworthy are you?
This article is published
as part of the Sequoia Mountain Healers series to
promote health and wellness.
On June 1, an Air France Airbus A330-200
en route from Rio de Janiero to Paris crashed, killing
all 228 people aboard. After hearing about this devastating
plane crash, I immediately made an analogy to our
Facts are still being studied and indicate
a possible malfunction in the plane’s electrical
system, however, in the beginning, the story indicated
a possible weather pattern, something outside the
plane, causing the crash.
Airline sustainability relies on the
dependability of repeated and predictable operations.
In this case something unexpected happened.
This story is impressive because it correlates directly
to our lives. Each one of us is like a plane, traversing
our life-path, going from point A to point B.
We also have an internal wiring system
that activates our guidance system. Meridians run
through our body modeling that of a house-wiring diagram.
The EKG machine measures the heart’s
electrical activity. When the electrical system within
our body gets zapped we can go off course.
We also get physical signals. Our throat, chest, stomach,
and back offer superior guidance to deeper issues
calling for our attention. For example, saying “yes”
when we mean “no” may send an immediate
signal to our chest creating anxiety and tension.
The captain of the Airbus A330-200 was
experienced and had impressive air time documented.
We, too, are practiced at this thing called life.
During Airbus Flight 447, at least 12
other airplanes shared the same trans-Atlantic sky,
but none reported any problems.
“Although none of the other flights are known
to have reported weather problems en route, aviation
experts said weather can change suddenly and vary
over short distances, so one plane might experience
conditions far worse than another,” said a news
We too, experience “weather”
in our lives. Our individual choices and decisions
are a large factor in how that weather affects us.
What route did we choose when we experienced
or caused a particular outcome? Experienced pilots
deviate around storm cells. How have you trained
yourself to swerve around the storms?
Outdated thought patterns, guilt, anger,
and judgment actually prevent us from circumventing
undesirable weather and can actually contribute to
the danger of storm systems.
Life out-of-the-ordinary happens. Are
you in tune with your internal guidance system? Are
you tracking your safety records and flight logs?
Are you paying attention to your flight
patterns? Are you monitoring your computer systems?
What benefits would there be if we observed
and responded to our internal operating systems on
a more regular basis?
We humans may rely and operate on autopilot
more often than planes. In fact, there are studies
that indicate we can be on autopilot 80 to 90 percent
of the time.
Think of the last time you drove from
point A to point B but don’t remember details
of the landscape, other cars, or your speed.
It is helpful for each of us to analyze
our own flight pattern history and determine how we
are moving closer to our desired destination or not.
We are fortunate to have personal indicators within
to keep us on target. It’s important to set
our flight plan and to be aware along the way. “Autopilot”
may not help us when the unpredicted happens.
The unexpected can and will happen, so
consider: how crashworthy are you? Will you be able
to avoid one? What can you do now to set up for a
Guidance for positive change includes
observation, understanding, and realization that bad
and good happens. Explore the opposites and paradoxes
here at “Life University.”
When we can look at the difficult lesson
and get in the sandbox with it, or witness it from
the teacher-tower, we advance on our master path.
Take hold of the controls in your “plane”
and be conscious of your flight plan, your maneuvers,
and the weather. Remember system failures can make
us stronger from experience.
Kay Packard is a “Guide
for Positive Change.” She is a member of the
Sequoia Mountain Healers whose intention is to encourage
and support health and wellbeing within the local
and global communities. Visit www.handfactor.com
(All Airbus accident details are from CNN and Reuters
articles on the Internet.)
A smart investment:
than 10 reasons to shop local
In less than two decades, large retail
chains have become the most powerful corporations
in America. Today, these mega-retailers are fueling
many of the country’s most pressing problems,
from the shrinking middle class to rising pollution
and diminished civic engagement.
So when consumers spend their dollars
at big boxes like Wal-Mart and Home Depot or chains
like Starbucks and Old Navy, they might be saving
a buck, but they are also contributing to the homogenization
of America and the precipitous decline of independent
But consumers can really make a difference.
“Buy local” campaigns around the country
are changing shopping patterns and influencing government
There are so many reasons to shop in
Three Rivers and the surrounding communities. It’s
fun, convenient, and will inspire prospective business
owners to make the investment to live and work here,
ensuring a stable economic future.
Here are some more reasons:
1. Protect local character and prosperity.
Three Rivers is a unique place; there’s no other
quite like it. By choosing to support locally owned
businesses, you help maintain Three Rivers’s
diversity and distinctive flavor.
2. Community wellbeing. Locally owned
businesses build strong neighborhoods by sustaining
communities, linking neighbors, and by contributing
more to local causes.
3. Local decision-making. Local ownership
means that important decisions are made locally by
people who live in the community and who will feel
the impacts of those decisions.
4. Keeping dollars in the local economy. Your
dollars spent in locally owned businesses have more
impact on Three Rivers than dollars spent at national
chains 30 miles away. When shopping locally, you simultaneously
create jobs, fund more services through sales tax,
invest in neighborhood improvement, and promote community
development and investment.
5. Jobs and wages. Locally owned
businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors,
provide better wages and benefits than chains do.
6. Entrepreneurship. This is what
fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity
while serving as a key means for families to move
out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.
7. Public benefits and costs. Local
stores in town centers require comparatively little
infrastructure and make more efficient use of public
services relative to big box stores or strip malls.
8. Environmental sustainability. Local
stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable
town centers, which in turn are essential to reducing
sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and
9. Competition. A marketplace of
towns made up of small businesses is the best way
to ensure innovation, diversity, creativity, and low
prices over the long term.
10. Product diversity. A multitude
of small businesses, each selecting products based
not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests
and the needs of their local customers, guarantees
a much broader range of product choices.
At your age, independence becomes very
important. Making good choices is important in ensuring
you will be able to achieve this goal of less supervision.
A part of this transition to independence
includes taking charge of your own body. On all levels,
especially emotional and physical, the teen years
are a period of tremendous transition.
But what better time — before you
are completely on your own and while your body is
naturally young and wholesome — to create a
fitness plan that will allow you to lead a healthy,
energetic, and meaningful life?
When you are fit, you will have a greater
ability to take control of your life and make decisions
that are best for you. And if health and fitness become
a habit in your teen years, it is more likely that
you will be a fit adult, thus reducing your risk of
obesity and all its related illnesses and conditions.
Fitness is a balance between the right
amount of physical activity and proper nutrition.
Fitness is not about having a perfect body —
an impossible and highly subjective goal — but,
instead, having a body that feels good to you.
During this time, it is normal to feel
physically and emotionally awkward or out of sync
at times. You are not alone; every teen, male or female,
deals with this.
If you have a daily routine that includes
enough sleep, wholesome food, and exercise, you will
be well on the road to health, positive body image,
and high self esteem. And, remember, what you see
in the mirror is far less important than what is inside;
being happy from within is what makes you beautiful
on the outside.
Bingeing, purging, and starvation will not lead to
fitness. These practices will make you sick, fat,
or kill you.
Diets don’t work (there is a reason
the word starts with “DIE”) and they usually
leave out important nutrients necessary for a teen’s
developing body. Eat in moderation, include fruits
and vegetables everyday, avoid soda and fast food
as much as possible… for the rest of your life.
You actually need to eat to be in top
physical shape. Breakfast, lunch, a snack or two,
and dinner is the ideal daily meal plan.
Moderation in food balanced with physical
activity is the key to losing weight or simply maintaining
your weight. Here are some tips to get you through
the day, everyday:
Don’t skip breakfast.
a serving of something that is red and orange (grapes,
strawberries, orange, sweet potato, cantaloupe, tomatoes…)
you are about to snack on something, ask yourself
if you are really hungry. Learn what real hunger feels
like, compared to eating mindlessly or because you
are bored or upset.
low-fat snacks, such as pretzels, air-popped popcorn
frozen fruit bars, baked tortilla chips and salsa,
English muffin or toast with fruit spread.
three servings of calcium a day (low or non-fat milk,
yogurt, cottage cheese, orange juice fortified with
lots of water everyday.
something green with two of your meals (lettuce, spinach,
green beans, asparagus…).
broiled or grilled entrees rather than fried or sautéed.
caffeine because it leaches precious calcium right
out of your growing bones (use the coffeehouses that
are now everywhere for socializing, but avoid the
coffee drinks because of the caffeine, the excess
calories, and the exorbitant prices).
When first trying to improve your eating habits, you
may think that the healthy choices don’t taste
as yummy as some of the fast food, sweets, processed
foods, and high-fat selections you may be eating now.
This is only because your tastebuds have been conditioned
to expect salty, fatty, or sweet flavors. Humans were
not meant to eat this way, however, so as you revert
to more healthy, natural choices, that is eventually
what you will begin to crave.
Don’t think you can never have
any of your favorite foods again. It will drive you
crazy, you will want them more than ever, and you
will beat yourself up if you indulge.
Remember the 90-10 rule. Ninety percent
of the time try to eat well. The 10 percent takes
place when you want something that may fit into these
categories because it has a lot or sugar, fat, or
contains a lot of calories, or just tastes awesome.
Save the 10 percent for special occasions
such as weddings, birthdays, family gatherings, a
vacation, or even a night out with friends.
Remember that society has a narrow-minded
attitude of beauty. You don’t have to measure
up to anyone’s standards.
Never forget that your body is a miracle
and you are the one who is in charge of it. And appreciate
everything that makes you unique.
Next time— Exercise: In other
words, get off your butt!