My high school lacrosse teammate, Diane Whipple, was mauled to death in the prime of her life by a pit bull who was "just doing what his owner (also a criminal) taught him." Pit bulls are dangerous in the wrong hands, period. It may not be the dog's fault, but that doesn't make me feel any safer around an enraged animal who was raised by a "loyal owner" aka, hardened criminal. A "loyal" pit bull can literally rip a person's throat out, as was done to Diane Whipple. She was on her way home from the store and did not deserve to die in the grips of a vicious animal. View Comment
Big surprise! If they just created a real roadhouse or tavern with really good tavern food and music, it would have been a home run, but they stretched beyond their reach and tried to execute an overly ambitious menu that didn't interest people. Does anyone in the restaurant world understand that Westporters are family folks who want a place where they can bring the kids on the early side for a good burger and a meal that doesn't break the bank and then, later, a place where they can go to hear live music and choose some decent pub foods? Bobby Q's, BJ Ryan's and Little Pub have the right idea. Enough of the pricey hose-downs! When we want a fine dining experience, we know where to go for one. When we want a casual night out, we want a casual night out, not a total ripoff with crappy, overly wrought choices. Get the picture? View Comment
A quick internet search shows that this same individual was arrested at least four times on various charges, from shoplifting to drunk driving, over the past few years--all while "raising" her child. This young mom needs help, but more importantly, her son needs a better home environment. View Comment
I am sure I am not the only parent seeing this photo and reading about her history who thinks Kristen looks more like a meth or heroin addict than like a loving mother who could/should be responsible for a young child. Judging by this image and by her track record and lack of judgment, I truly hope local law enforcement and DCFS takes a deeper look at her parenting abilities and get her the help she needs before putting a vulnerable four-year-old child back into her "care." Most importantly, they need to make sure the four-year-old is safe. If the child is released to her, the appropriate agency should start doing home visits to make sure the child is being raised in a safe home environment. View Comment
Here are my thoughts, expressed in a letter to the BOE:
As a mother of two young boys, I am dismayed by the fact that you are considering shortening the amount of PE time for our kids.
I recognize that we are in a tough economic climate, but I fear that this change will be detrimental to our children on many levels.
I am sure you are aware of the numerous studies that cite the need for MORE daily activity/exercise for our kids. Not only do children need exercise from a physical/health perspective, but they require it from a learning perspective as well. As every mother knows, one of the best ways to get kids to calm down and concentrate is to first allow them to get some of that energy out through exercise and play.
What is more, according to a number of studies, exercise can actually make kids smarter.
Two recent studies at the University of Illinois showed that kids who ran on a treadmill before a test had improved brain function: According to the studies cited in the New York Times (September 15, 2010, 12:01 AM Phys Ed: Can Exercise Make Kids Smarter? By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS) , "The children had significantly larger basal ganglia, a key part of the brain that aids in maintaining attention and 'executive control,' or the ability to coordinate actions and thoughts crisply. Since both groups of children had similar socioeconomic backgrounds, body mass index and other variables, the researchers concluded that being fit had enlarged that portion of their brains."
Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that roughly a quarter of children participate in ZERO physical activity outside of school. Even if that is not the case in Westport, the amount of time our kids get from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. to exercise and play is negligible. Let's not whittle it down to the bone.
For all of these reasons and more (we haven't even touched on obesity or the fact that kids are spending more sedentary time plugged into electronic devices) is a big mistake to take away our kids' already limited PE time. The researchers in the studies cited above echoed: "But for now, the takeaway is clear. “More aerobic exercise” for young people, Mr. Kuhn said. Mr. Hillman agreed. So get kids moving, he added, and preferably away from their Wiis."
Let's encourage our kids to keep moving. Let's show them that we value physical education. By chipping away at it, it sends the message that PE doesn't matter. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Thanks for your time.
Christy Colasurdo View Comment