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Posts Tagged ‘neighborhoods’

       In the “old” days…families lived in close proximity to one another, it was important to the strength of the family.  Either several generations lived in the same homestead together or at the very least…lived in the “neighborhood”; close enough to see and communicate with one another on a daily basis.  Parents, grandparents, children, aunts, uncles and cousins all grew up together…teaching each other, learning from one another and helping to guide and direct each generation with their own brand of family values; to their place of prominence when it was time.   This type of family bonding has been broken for a long time…going back to the years of the great depression; leaving quite an impact on the way families were structured. It wasn’t willful or voluntary…it was necessary.  (more…)

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         It is June and the end of the school season.  That means that there are many more children out and about.  I just want to take a few minutes to remind people about child vehicle safety.

          Last week there was a horrible reminder of how easy it is for an accident to happen, with the loss of Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman’s 5 year old daughter.  She was killed when she somehow got in the path of a vehicle driven by her teenaged brother.  Our prayers go out to the whole family at their time of loss.  But, the period of grieving is going to be complicated because of their son being the driver of the vehicle.  There are so many emotions to deal with, in addition to loosing their daughter.

          Teen drivers have less experience watching out for the little ones.  They are new to driving and it only takes a second for a distraction to cause an accident.  With cell phones, radios and passengers along for the ride there is much to distract a driver these days.  Also, reminding elderly drivers about taking extra precautions around driving near young children is a good idea.  Every driver needs reminding about such things.   Teaching the little ones to play away from parking areas, away from the curb, or away from the roadways is very important. 

        Educating teens and reminding all other drivers about the extra dangers of the importance of watching out for kids at play…especially when balls, bikes, skates or skateboards are involved.  Quick decisions by young children aren’t based on …is it safe for me to chase my ball that just went out into the road, or is it safe for me to skate across the corner of the road…or am i fast enough to get by on my bike…they just make quick decisions that can put a driver in a bad situation.

         My adult daughter lives in a housing development in a cul -de- sac.  This is a housing development that has alot of young families; as well as a day care, right next door.  I am paranoid when i go to visit because of the parking available.  Whenever i arrive or leave, i take several exta moments to check where all of the little ones are because; they are riding little electric cars that are low to the ground, they are running and chasing each other, they are often riding little bikes and push toys.  It is hard to see them.  I am terrified that i will miss seeing one of them while backing out of the parking space.  Apartment buildings, beaches, parks and school zones are all areas that require extra focus and attention watching for children at play.

          The neighbor who runs the day care, in my daughter’s neighborhood, is very good about keeping an eye on the children and no-one plays out of doors without adult supervision.  However, it only takes a moment to be distracted as parents arrive to pick up, or, drop off their children.  There are other neighbors, who get visitors, who do not always watch their children vigilantly.  It only takes a few extra minutes to make sure where everyone is located; and, to make them aware that a vehicle is coming or going.   It could save a life and alot of legal responsibility.

          As long as we are talking vehicle safety and wee ones…let talk about the electronic windows.  It is so easy for little ones to accidently get trapped in the electronic windows.  Every year we hear of deaths or severe injuries caused by little arms or heads that somehow get rolled up in the electronic windows.  Please, please, please, make sure the children are strapped into their seat belts or their child restraint seats properly.  That way, you can be a little more confident that they are not playing with the buttons on the windows while you are driving.

          Children love playing and hiding in out of the way places.  Cars are a temptation. If there are abandoned cars in your neighborhood…get them removed or locked up.   Please, keep your vehicle locked when you are not using it…even if it is parked in a garage.  Children sometimes get into the vehicles and can’t get back out; or they climb into the trunk and the same thing happens.  Teach children not to play in a vehicle; but still, protect them and yourself by locking the vehicle.

          Communities are becoming much more pro-active about teaching and inspecting child seat restraints.  Often community police or rescue personnel will offer a safety inspection of your child safety seat.  They will make sure that they are properly installed and offer tips on how best to make sure that your child or grandchild is safe.

         Finally, now that summer is here…the warm weather is too.  The air in a closed vehicle quickly heats up and becomes unsafe for little ones to be left in a vehicle; even for just a few minutes.  Always, always take your child into the store or gas station.  For safety’s sake, do not leave them in the vehicle.  Even when the vehicle is empty, crack the windows a bit; or, open the vents in the back of the vehicle to let out excess heat so that the vehicle is not overly warm when you and your child get back into the vehicle.  That blast of heat can damage young lungs and it can be painful to the skin to touch hot seats.

          Every year we hear tragic reports, on the news, of another child that died as a result of being left in a hot vehicle.  When transporting your child to day care on your way to work…place your brief case, lunch bag, purse or some other such reminder in the back so that in your haste you don’t forget that your child is strapped in the back.

           Put a reminder in the front seat near you such as a toy or a bottle, to remind yourself that your child is in the back; especially if you are transporting your child in an out of normal circumstance of your daily routine.  Or, put a post it note in a bright color on your steering wheel; these reminders are important, because forgetting your child is not an option.  If the child falls asleep and is quiet, in your haste to get to work or whatever your routine is, if you normally dont transport your child at that time every day…it can happen that you “forget” that your child is in the vehicle with you. 

             It seems silly to go over these safety issues…but, take the time to remind yourself of them.  It is worth taking a few extra minutes to go over them if it saves one life…and a lifetime of guilt and regrets.  Have a safe and fun summer!

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         I was reading a news story today about a disturbing situation in South Carolina; two videos surfaced that showed officers chasing suspects with their police cars and “bumping them”  in two seperate incidents.  What about safety?

        The officers were white, the news report stated; and the suspects black.  Now, personally, i don’t think that ANY police officer white or black  should be “bumping” any suspect, white or black!  Yes, i understand that the “suspects” are exactly that…”suspected criminals” . 

        However, when they are suspects…they haven’t yet, been convicted of anything…and also, i feel that it is dangerous for the suspects, the officers, as well as the general public to be chasing and “bumping” people. 

           Obviously, what happens if the suspect gets rolled under the vehicle and gets serious hurt or killed?  Then, the suspect is not only injured or killed, but, the officer will have to go through an investigation; it will cause him or her, to possibly not only loose their job; but, also could send them to prison for manslaughter.  

            The situation could allow whatever community the officer represents to be rightfully sued, costing tax payers not only money; but, also fan the flames of another huge racial conflict.  We need to work on identifying and healing racial divisions not  creating new reasons to deepen the wounds in our communities.

          No, i just think it is wrong to allow these types of situations to occur without challenging them legally.  Yes, if someone is doing something illegal they deserve to, not only be arrested; but, also convicted.  

           The two officers who are on the video tapes have set an awful precedent by “bumping” their suspects.  Not to mention, at least one other incident of another officer, in a different situation allegedly shouting out racial slurs about a suspect in South Carolina.  This is definately something that should never be allowed. 

           Human beings are to be treated with respect by people we entrust to represent us in law enforcement.  The federal investigation that could come out of this situation is needed; not only in one state, but in all 50 states and we need to set a standard in how things are to be handled.

        I respect officers and most of them do a wonderful job; they have a passion and a commitment to uphold the law.  They have very difficult jobs.  We need to recognize the good officers and hold them up as an example to follow.  Upright and honest citizens can help officers to do their jobs better by setting standards that weed out the officers that abuse their power.  

            Officers are out there every day risking their lives to uphold the law; and truthfully, often they see the worst our nation has to offer in regards to human behavior.   It must be difficult to keep a positive view point of humanity when you constantly see the horrible things that people do to one another. 

           Lift up and encourage officers that you know in your neighborhood, your family, your churches, your schools, and even on the street corners.  It is one of those jobs that gets very few thank yous.  I am sure that they dis-like the bad officers as much as we do because it makes their jobs more difficult.

             We need to teach our children once again to respect authority in the home, in our schools, and in our communities and in law enforcement.  To  accomplish this, we must act responcibly and respectfully even when dealing with the criminal elements in our society.  We want our children to respect officers, not fear them. 

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