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9 Good News: Community 11 Good News: Schools 12 Good Products 15 Good People By Thais Miller
16 - 17 Good Parenting Are You Struggling To Get Your Kids Off the Computer, Smartphone or Gaming? You are not alone. By Juli Steinocher, LMHC, LMT, CPT
20 - 21 Good Parenting Better Choices, Brighter Lives By Christy Ziglar
22 - 23 Good Parenting Be a Woman of Action
Magic for Kids By Ava Parnass
24 Good Parenting I am a
Play Therapy: More Than Just Fun By Dolores Mortimer
26 Good Eating Eat Local Produce: Be Good To Your Body And The Earth! By Rick Blouin
27 Good Eating Showcase Your Spring Harvest By Christy Waterhouse
Features 8 Happy Earth Day
About the Cover This issue’s cover is a salute to parents everywhere who are buying local produce or growing their own in order to provide healthier food for their families. The Spring 2013 issue is dedicated to local growers and farmers who work against the odds to maintain and preserve quality food sources, and to the markets and co-ops who link buyers to that food.
28 - 29 Treasure the Small Sea By Lucinda Johnston
30 My Story By Jackie Sue Griﬃn, MS
Spring Edition 2013
A very special Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! You are appreciated!
Publisher Light Shine Media Group, LLC
Editor-in-Chief Pamela Settle
Design and Layout Marcie Kelliher
Contributing Writers Rick Blouin Jackie Sue Griﬃn Lucinda Johnston Thais Miller Dolores Mortimer Ava Parnass Julie Steinocher Christy Waterhouse Christy Ziglar
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GoodLiving™ Magazine & GoodLivingMagazine.com P.O. Box 1795 Oldsmar, Florida 34677 (727) 776-3656 email@example.com GoodLiving™ magazine is a publication of Light Shine Media Group, LLC and is available to readers by a paid annual subscription available at tampabaygoodliving. com. Promotional copies are distributed through establishments as a courtesy to their customers and clients. Additional copies are donated to local schools as a community service. To request copies, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. All photographs, artwork, design and editorial are the sole property of GoodLiving™ magazine and Light Shine Media Group, LLC. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission. GoodLiving™ magazine and Light Shine Media Group, LLC are not responsible for statements made by advertisers and writers for any consequences arising from omissions or errors. Readers should verify the advertising information of the advertisers and all specials are valid to the expiration date set by the advertiser. GoodLiving™ magazine and Light Shine Media Group, LLC reserve the right to refuse any advertising for any reason. The views expressed in the publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. All rights reserved.
Letter from the Editor Spring is such a beautiful time of year to be outside in Florida. The GOOD news is that we are blessed with an abundance of outdoor activities and opportunities to be in the fresh air. Pinellas County and the cities within it have some fabulous parks. You do not need expensive equipment or lessons to get out and walk or bike the numerous trails. Many of those trails are in areas where you can experience some natural plant and animal life or be by water. Speaking of water, did you know that you can circumnavigate the county in a kayak or canoe? Pinellas County Blue Way trails are well known and easy to access throughout the county. If you spend your days indoors working, you have walls and ceilings and computer screens to hem you in. I’ll bet you leave that building, hop into an enclosed car and drive in traﬃc surrounded by concrete, asphalt and buildings to yet another enclosed building – your home. How many times a day do you step outside to free your mind and take a deep breath of fresh air? How many times a week do you escape a closed-in lifestyle to be in nature? It is necessary to change the scenery so our brains can relax and mentally detox from our routines. We need our feet to touch the earth and reconnect our spirits to the life–giving force of nature. It takes breaking our routines and making it a priority, just as we must break our unhealthy eating habits. With a little planning and eﬀort, we can greatly improve our state of well being. The same goes for our kids. Kids today get shuttled door-to-door to just about everywhere they go. Our busy schedules, spread out neighborhoods and safety concerns lead to fewer kids walking anywhere. Playing outside is conﬁned to a yard, if at all, or maybe as part of organized sports. But then again, they get dropped oﬀ and picked up, so more structure. If we don’t take them to an area where they can roam free, they don’t experience it. If we don’t allow for them to have unstructured outdoor play, they won’t experience it. It is time to unplug ourselves. Not only from our structured indoor environments, but from our electronic devices as well. April 13th is my favorite family event of the year, “Playing Unplugged,” at Largo Central Park. The motivation behind the event is an invitation to unplug and just be. Just be with your family. Just be outside. Just be content. Just be playful and let it all go. Your body, your mind, your spirit and your family will be better for it, especially if it’s practiced on other days of the year. If you need ideas, go to your local parks department website or the county website at PinellasCounty.org. Enjoy the freshness of spring! Step your bare feet in some grass. Take a few deep breaths. Let the breeze caress your skin. And just be… GOOD! Until next time,
Celebrate Island Earth Days at Honeymoon Island State Park Arbor Day in Clearwater The City of Clearwater will celebrate Arbor Day, Saturday, April 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a ceremony and tree giveaway. Clearwater residents are eligible to receive two free trees per household, including live oak, American elm, red cedar, bald cypress, southern magnolia, red maple, slash pines, Walters viburnum, and three colors of crape myrtles. There will be 2,100 trees given away on a ﬁrst-come, ﬁrst-served basis. Proof of residency is required. Event located at Public Service Complex at 1650 N. Arcturas Ave. For more information, call (727) 462-6563, ext. 226.
Shredfest in Largo Save some trees and de-clutter your home by participating in The City of Largo’s Shredfest. This is a free, paper shredding event where residents can bring their personal documents to be securely shredded and recycled. A convenient drive-thru process saves time. Residents can bring up to ﬁve ﬁles boxes of paper per car and there is no need to remove staples, tape, rubber bands or paper clips. Last year’s event saved 194 trees by shredding 22,800 pounds of paper. This one-day only event will take place Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1551 Starkey Road. LargoRecycles.com
Dunedin Life & Light Lantern Festival Enjoy the Dunedin Life & Light Lantern Festival Sunday, April 28 at Dunedin’s Pioneer Park. This community art event is a fundraiser for the Planting Seeds Workshop Series and the 1% Food Project. Live music all day. Free lantern making workshops, organic plant sale, gardening information, kids village, drum circle and seed swap. This is a family-friendly event geared towards kids and they will love keeping their lanterns. Daytime events start at noon with the lantern lighting ceremony at 8 p.m. More event details will be posted at dunedinharvest.com.
8 GoodLiving Spring Edition 2013
This annual event is a perennial favorite for celebrating the beauty of this award-winning beach and Earth Day. Check out the nature exhibits, eco-friendly arts and crafts booths, and the Make-andTake Rain Barrel workshop. Take a guided nature walk or enjoy the new limitless playground. You can also try bungee jumping, rock wall climbing, or new this year, Aqua Bubbles. Kids will love the children’s area with face painting, story time, and lots of free craft projects, plus a giant inﬂatable slide and a dunk tank. Both days will feature live music, auctions and prize drawings. Food and beverage options on site will keep you going, including Saturday evening for dinner. Entry to the Island Earth Days event is free, with paid park admission. Organized by Friends of the Island Parks, Inc., and proceeds support the new Caladesi Discovery Center. Pets are welcome on a 6 ft maximum leash. Island Earth Days at Honeymoon Island State Park Saturday, April 20 • 11 a.m. to 7 p.m Sunday, April 21 • 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call (727)738-2908, email Info@IslandParks.org, or visit islandearthdays.com
The Green Thumb Festival Celebrate Arbor Day weekend at the Green Thumb Festival, with: • environmental and horticultural exhibits • vendors (with every kind of plant imaginable) • the Garden Club of St. Petersburg Flower Show • a diagnostic clinic (bring soil and water samples) • free mulch • plant auction • more than 2,000 trees for sale for $3, • free Butterﬂy plants (500 each day) • children’s programs • and much more!! Mark your calendar so you don’t miss this annual event: April 27-28 at Walter Fuller Park and Community Center in St. Petersburg. StPeteParksRec.org
Earth Day Tampa Bay at USF 2013 marks the 43rd Earth Day Tampa Bay celebration. This year’s theme, Fresh Food Revolution, promotes local food growers, producers, distributors, educators, and supporters. There will also be children’s activities, a drum circle and farmer’s market. Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m to 4 p.m at the Botanical Gardens on the USF campus. Admission and parking are free. Alternative transportation is encouraged.
Community Stamp Out Hunger May 11 marks the largest, single-day food drive of the year. Stamp Out Hunger is the National Association of Letter Carriers answer to combating the hunger that crosses the country. Over 35.5 million people are faced with hunger daily in America, and a little less than half of them are children. Fifteen hundred NALC branches, USPS employees, and volunteers have all helped to contribute over one billion tons of food over the last twenty years. Keep that number rising by adding to it; on May 11, put canned and non-perishable goods out by your mailbox for letter carriers to pick up. Do your part to Stamp Out Hunger and help RCS Food Bank in our local area.
Partners for Life
Say Farewell to The Pier A week long celebration will commemorate 40 years of The Pier in St. Petersburg, which is slated for demolition. Events will include music from local performers, historic water ski shows, Salsa dancing and ﬁreworks. Friday, May 24th Spring/Summer Salsa Celebration, 7-11 p.m. Saturday, May 25th Street Performers and live music, all day Sunday, May 26th Final Music Fest by the Bay featuring music from the 60’s Monday, May 27th Memorial Day – Live Music all day and performances by the Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team Tuesday, May 28th Music from the 80’s Wednesday, May 29th Music from the 90’s Thursday, May 30th Country hits from the 2000’s Friday, May 31st Current Music and plans for confetti cannons and fireworks.
The 3rd Annual Partners for Life Police Appreciation Run and Walk Stay tuned to The Pier website for event updates and ﬁnal plans will be held at North Straub Park on Bayshore Drive in St. Petersburg for the last day. StPetePier.com Sunday, May 5. The ﬁrst run begins at 7 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m. This event is dedicated to the fallen St. Petersburg police oﬃcers and funds raised support the Partners for Life Foundation, an organization founded by Lorraine Yaslowitz, the widow of K-9 Oﬃcer Jeﬀ rey Yaslowitz, to aid families who are victims of senseless violence. ﬂoridaroadraces.com/police All around our county, Relay For Life events are bringing Stop Child Abuse Blue Ribbon 5K Run people together to honor cancer survivors, remember loved Support the Suncoast Center and help them in their work with ones lost, and ﬁght back against this disease. The funds raised local children who have been abused, neglected or subject to make a diﬀerence in the ﬁght against cancer – just ask one trauma. No child is turned away for inability to pay for services of the nearly 14 million cancer survivors who will celebrate because of local donors and fundraisers like this. Register for the another birthday this year! 5K Run or the 1-mile Family Walk. Registration begins at 7:30 Find a relay and get involved! Join them for all or part of their a.m. $20 for adults and $15 for children under 15. The event will overnight event as they take turns walking or running around be Saturday, April 27th at Walsingham Park in Largo. a track or path throughout the entire event. Stop by and
Relay for Life
Women’s Expo Women With Purpose proudly presents The “4 Play: Health, Beauty, Soul & Sizzle Women’s Expo.” The event features inspiring speakers, a fashion show, various demonstrations and vendors that will empower and inspire women to walk away with renewed energy and a stronger focus. $25 donation to attend. Silent auction and lunch included. Proceeds beneﬁt the Mammography Voucher Program of Pinellas County. Saturday, May 4, 2013, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Nielsen Media Research, 501 Brooker Creek Boulevard in Oldsmar. For more information, please contact Jane at (727) 530-4219 or email WomenWithPurpose0923@gmail.com. To follow on Facebook, search the event’s name.
Autism Speaks Walk Thousands of people will walk in the name of Autism; to raise awareness, to show support and to donate funds for research. The Tampa Bay event is at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday April 20th. Check in and resource fair begins at 9 a.m. There is no fee to participate. Raise at least $150 and earn an event T-shirt. walknowforautismspeaks.org
purchase a memorial luminaria that you can personalize. These events are also a lot of fun so get out there and join the Relay! More events at RelayforLife.org Friday, April 12th Canal Park, Oldsmar Saturday, April 13th Town Square Plaza Park, Pinellas Park Friday, April 19th Countryside High School, Clearwater Saturday, April 20th Largo Central Park, Largo Friday, April 26th Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, Dunedin Friday, May 3rd Safety Harbor City Park, Safety Harbor Coachman Park, Clearwater Osceola High School, Seminole Friday, May 10th Transamerica Field, St. Petersburg Friday, May 17th Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg Tarpon Springs High School, Tarpon Springs
GoodLiving Spring Edition 2013
LiveFree! Excellence Awards: Investing in Community & Prevention
Each quarter, LiveFree! honors individuals in our community for being a role model in building healthier communities. Please join us in appreciating the work of the following individuals: YOUTH
Charles Bigby is a junior at Manatee School for the Arts majoring in dance. He is a participant in his school’s competitive dance team, teen president of the Pinellas-Manatee County Jack and Jill of America, Inc, and a member of LiveFree!
Nancy Hamilton, President and CEO, Operation PAR, Inc. has more than 40 years experience in behavioral health care services, including trainer, adjunct instructor and teacher in prevention, intervention and treatment services.
Brenda Lizeth Vargas is a sophomore at Largo High School and currently in the ExCEL magnet program. She is president of the Largo H.S. LiveFree! Club where she has developed leadership skills and learned to believe in her capabilities.
Gay Lancaster, JWB Children’s Services Council has served as the Executive Director of the JWB Children's Services Council since September 2006. She has been associated with numerous professional and community organizations.
McKenzie McWade is the Vice-President of the Pinellas Park High School LiveFree! Club. She says that being a part of the LiveFree! Club has helped her to develop strengths in public speaking and empowered her to stand up for making healthy choices.
Martha Lenderman, Community Advocate, retired after 30 years of service to the state with many contributions to the mental health and substance abuse field.
Heaven Taylor-Wynn is a freshman in the International Baccalaureate program at St. Petersburg High School. She is a member of the drama club, a cheerleader, member of the National Achievers Society at St. Petersburg College, member of the Jack and Jill Inc. and Pinellas County chapter, LiveFree! club.
Maria Roberts is the Senior Director of Children’s Services at Personal Enrichment through Mental Health Services. Cheri Wright-Jones of Tampa Bay Regional Vice President of Allegany Franciscan Ministries is responsible for grant-making and community engagement activities.
If you know someone whose outstanding efforts personify a positive role model in building healthier communities and would like to nominate them for a LiveFree! Excellence Award, please contact: LiveFree! Executive Director Jackie Griffin, MS at (813) 503-5658 or email@example.com information sponsored by:
License Plate to Honor Fallen Policemen Teenage years can be rife with insecurities and the feeling that no one will listen. The students at Pinellas Park High School’s Criminal Justice Academy put that aside and showed that they can make a diﬀerence. After two years and constant reminders that what they hoped for may never happen, they were heard; the bill they had created to honor fallen police oﬃcers had ﬁnally passed. In the wake of three policemen losing their lives in the line of duty, the class guided by teacher Richard Cross, designed a license plate whose proceeds will support training and equipment for police oﬃcers, as well as education to support classes like the Criminal Justice Academy. The students traveled to Tallahassee to speak before the Senate Transportation p Committee,, who unanimously passed the bill in a matter of minutes. Congratulations to the hard work of the Criminal Justice Academy students; may you be a reminder to your peers that you can be heard and make change at any age.
Woodlawn Community Academy in Clearwater is putting their students to work for a good cause – their own. As part of their transition program, students are learning job and social skills that can move them from school to the real world by running The Swanky Swine, an on-campus snack bar. High school-aged students with developmental disabilities run all aspects of the snack bar and 100% of the proﬁts are used to further develop the program. They seek to develop independence and a sense of purpose, traits all students Teacher Wins Honors need to have as they leave the education system. Staﬀ and parents Joanne Wright was named 2013 Outstanding who work with the transition program believe that employment (or Educator by the Pinellas Education Foundation. vocational training) in a safe, sheltered environment will allow young Joanne is a reading teacher at Safety Harbor people with Asperger syndrome, Autism, Down syndrome and other Middle School. She earned a bachelor’s degree disabilities to explore their unique potential and strengths. in Drama from the University of Natal in South Swanky Swine plans to oﬀer post-high school transitional Africa. Her energy, sense of humor and passion services by the fall of 2013. for teaching is contagious. A mentor to new teachers, Joanne models teaching strategies, For more information on sponsorship or enrollment please email oﬀers up her lesson plans and guides new firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit online at SwankySwine.com teachers as they navigate their ﬁrst years in or WoodlawnAcademy.org the education ﬁeld. She serves on multiple committees and took it upon herself to become the school’s Student Wins $10,000 to Start Business technology coach, training staﬀ on how to integrate technology Next Generation Entrepreneurs was created by FairWarning® and the into their classrooms. She designed a collaborative website where Pinellas Education Foundation to introduce high school juniors and teachers can share information, research and curriculums and seniors attending Pinellas County Public Schools to the principles of then she trained teachers how to use it. Joanne believes in the customer value creation, innovation and what it takes to be an entrepreneur. importance of giving her students new experiences and is known The program’s year-long competition came to an end when Joe Sleppy around school as the “ﬁeld trip queen.” Students and teachers was named this year’s winner of the $10,000 award to start his business. alike adore Joanne, who they know they can call on in an instant Sleppy, a senior from Osceola Fundamental High School won with his and she will be right there to guide them. As part of her award, she will receive a $2,000 scholarship from NOVA University, an invention involving workout equipment for veterans (amputees). Joe stated, “It kills me to see individuals give up on physical ﬁtness, especially iPad Mini from American Income Life and a $2,000 cash prize returning veterans that are learning to live with amputated limbs.”This from the Pinellas Education Foundation, as well as other gifts is why he has developed workout equipment for veterans. One device, donated by business partners. Congratulations to Joanne and all used for pushups, relies on airbag compression to hold an individual by the teachers who work tirelessly on behalf of students, parents their forearms to keep strain oﬀ of wrists. For more information and to and the community. see entries from all the ﬁnalists, go to PinellasEducation.org.
GoodLiving Spring Edition 2013 11
products RainPerfect™ Pump If you haven’t hooked up a rain barrel yet, then this product may be the incentive to go out and make it happen. With this product added on, you get the ability to have pressurized water from the barrel and it’s powered by solar power. Now that’s good thinking! A rain barrel helps to capture fresh water as it runs oﬀ your roof, which is stored in the barrel. Saving rain water helps to conserve our precious water resources and can provide plants the water they really want. By installing the RainPerfect™ Pump, you can run a low pressure sprinkler or hose to water plants or even wash a car, making your rain barrel a more usable source of water. MSRP is $149, but it can be found at Amazon.com for around $100.
Makedo Kids love to build and create from their own imagination. With Makedo, they can transform reclaimed items such as boxes, coﬀee containers or just about anything made from cardboard or plastic to create their own custom designs.
T3 Source Shower Heads Our skin is our largest organ and it absorbs everything that touches it. So while using non-toxic body cleaners and shampoos to avoid absorbing sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, phthalates and others, don’t forget about the chlorine present in household water. By removing the chlorine, skin will be softer and hair will be less frizzy with more shine and body – not to mention the health beneﬁts of reducing exposure to chlorine. Through a chemical ﬁltration process known as “Redox,” the T3 Source Shower Filter Showerhead transforms chlorine into harmless elements that are too large to be absorbed by hair and skin. Their patented technology uses copper, zinc and calcium to convert and remove free-chlorine. Tourmaline produces negative ions to improve ﬁltration and balance the pH of water. Other features include eight spray settings, ﬁlter and 2-yr warranty. Its max ﬂow is 2.5 gallons per minute, max water pressure is 80 pounds per square inch and the ﬁlter lasts for about six months. Buy a traditional shower head for $130, hand-held for $150 or an in-line ﬁlter to use with an existing shower head for $70. Purchase at ShopT3micro.com.
Each Makedo kit includes a safe-saw for cutting and punching through materials safely; reusable clips and lock-hinges for connecting. Several kits are available from the basic set of connectors to Find & Make projects that guide kids to make a robot, ﬂowers, plane or car. Themed stickers and ideas included. Makedo gets kids on the ﬂoor making stuﬀ with their hands for unstructured play time. The beauty of this toy is that they can take their creation apart and use the connectors to make an entirely new design. Invented by an Australian dad who wanted to inspire imagination and allow kids to create freely without restriction. This is an aﬀordable toy and so it makes a terriﬁc gift idea. Kits can be found at Amazon.com and most retail for between $15 and $25 but can be purchased for less.
Red Apple Lipstick When you apply lipstick and it disappears, where does it go? You probably don’t think about it much, but in a year’s time how much lipstick and lip gloss do you think you’ve licked oﬀ and eaten? Just like other traditional cosmetics, lipstick contains ingredients you might not choose to eat. The Red Apple Lipstick company has a full line of lipsticks and glosses in a range of colors to satisfy most women – all without the stuﬀ you don’t want to eat. Their products contain NO parabens, NO gluten, NO lead, NO soy and NO animal byproducts. They enrich their products with Vitamin E for silky smooth kissable lips. Lipsticks start at $17.50 and can be ordered on their website. They oﬀer a 100% satisfaction guarantee, too. Redapplelipstick.com
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people Help out these local organizations and be one of the Good People who work on behalf of children in our community.
READY FOR LIFE by THAIS MILLER Since age eleven, Andrea has been part of the foster care system. A self-described “runner,” she exhibited the classic runaway behavior that plagues a high percentage of foster home children. Dropping out of school at age ﬁfteen and caring for a young daughter by age seventeen, she was preparing to “age-out” of the system with no clear view of how to survive on her own. Enter Ready for Life, a St. Petersburg based organization that focuses on helping young adults in foster care transition to leading their own lives once they have turned eighteen. In the ﬁve years they have been in existence, they are certainly making a diﬀerence; just ask Andrea. Now a college student who is preparing to get her AA at SPC before transferring to University of Florida for a degree in social work, Andrea also works part-time at Ready for Life and participates in many of the activities. One of her proudest achievements is helping to get the Quality Parenting for Children in Foster Care Act, or Normalcy Act, passed in March of this year. Because of her tireless commitment, kids in foster care will soon be able to spend the night out, go to their proms, and get driver’s licenses, something that was not an option before. Ready for Life is responsible for the connections youths need to transition into adulthood and become self-suﬃcient. Youth Development Director, Dama Kelly, described a story of Andrea helping a program participant ﬁgure out how to get to the hospital and what to do once there. “Some of these kids don’t know how to change an air ﬁlter. These are the little day-to-day things that no one showed them how to do. We help with that.” They also help in promoting education; in ﬁve years they have raised the rate of aged-out youths working towards a high-school diploma, G.E.D., vocational training or community college from 50 to 82 percent. The Ready for Life program exists only on grants and donations; they have no government funding. They partner with several bay area organizations to fundraise, so do your part to thank them for all they do. Thursday, May 9th they will be holding a fundraiser with the Putnam County Spelling Bee for a “Night in the Park” event. For information and tickets, visit the readyforlifeyouth.com and see for yourself all the wonderful things that they do for the foster care community. When you go to the show, be sure to say hello to Andrea, a testament to what not giving up on our community’s youths can mean for their future.
If you are in need of a good dose of HOPE, call the Homeless Emergency Project and ask what supplies you can bring by to supplement their food pantry. You will be blessed by the experience! Call George Garcia at the High Point YMCA and volunteer to tutor young people. Collect diapers for Kids Charity of Tampa Bay, an organization that cares for children who’ve been removed from unsafe situations. Or call Kathy Mize Plummer at Ready for Life to find out how you can help foster children who are aging out of foster care.
There is much to be done! And it is a continuing process. The Lokey family of employees continues to learn about the amazing work being done in our community. This Spring we are building another Habitat for Humanity house in the Stevens Creek neighborhood of Clearwater. Consider this an invitation if you are looking for a tangible investment of your time and efforts. In May, a family will move into the house shown in this photo – and it will become a home.
The Lokey Charities 4th Annual Golf Classic is May 3rd at the Belleair Country Club. All proceeds support our mission to help children and youth reach their full potential by providing for basic needs such as food, shelter, access to medical care and positive mentoring. There are still opportunities for sponsorships, golfers and prize contributions. To learn more, go to LokeyCharities.com When doing good, the motto “The more, the merrier!” definitely applies!
GoodLiving Spring Edition 2013 15
parenting Are You Struggling To Get Your Kids Off the Computer, Smartphone or Gaming?
You are not alone . by JULI STEINOCHER, LMHC, LMT, CPT Most families are dealing with the invisible addiction – electronic stimulation. The signs of this new era addiction are apparent in many forms – from bullying, ADHD, failing grades, anger, depression, and most importantly, lack of face time or quality time together.
Families and schools are quick to diagnose these symptoms as normal adolescent behaviors or “kids being kids.” If it worsens, children may get diagnosed as ADHD, depressed, anxious, and quickly prescribed medications or kicked out of school. Now, more and more scientists and behavior experts are making the connections with these behaviors and our electronic world. While many just see these technology choices as the new way of life, research now shows young adolescents suﬀer serious long-term complications in brain development and behavior. In fact, brain scans of internet addicts and video game addicts look like those of drug and alcohol addicts. The culprit is a neurotransmitter called dopamine; involved in reward, memory, behavior and cognition, attention, mood, sleep and learning. While we need dopamine to support healthy executive function skills, these new technologies trigger a pace our bodies just can’t absorb. A new dose of dopamine is “rewarded” to our brain every time we receive a new text message, obtain a higher level in a game, or even do an internet search. The more time on-line, the more rewards, the more the brain shows signs of shrinkage in the critical area responsible for our executive functioning skills (see side bar).
This invisible addiction is literally shrinking the part of our brain responsible for most behaviors we label as necessary for our success. The news is covered with stories of the lack of STEM (science, tech, engineering and math) skills in our children, as well as falling graduation rates in both high school and college. Unfortunately, our children are just not developing the part of the brain needed to be successful in these skill sets – at the time of their life when critical brain development occurs. A key part of the brain, the pre-frontal cortex, is actually being developed from ages 11-20. The National Institute of Health suggests it’s a “use it or lose it” process… if our children don’t work to create this part of their brain, it may mean a lifetime of dysfunction. A 2009 Kaiser Family Foundation Study of children ages 8-18 showed an average of 7:38 hours each day with media and screen exposure. Time that used to be spent developing these executive functions (i.e. reading) is not only lost but being replaced with activities actually destroying this vital part of our brains. It’s the technology version of the “perfect storm.”
Ages 11-20 The Key Ages for Developing Executive Function Skills Thinking Skills organization • time management working memory • planning Behavior Skills emotional control • sustained attention • task initiation flexibility • goal directed persistence • response inhibition
16 GoodLiving Spring Edition 2013
parenting If you’re a parent, mindbodylab has created a process to help.
I: Inform your family. Just as you’ve told your kids that smoking causes cancer, they need to know what this is doing to their brains. Inform your children’s friend’s parents too – this will take a village to change these behaviors. C: Connect their behaviors with their use of screens. Monitor their behaviors before and after they use technology. Point out to them when you notice the connection. A: Activities. They’re spending 7+hours a day on technology today; you have to ﬁnd new ways to use this time. Try musical instruments (studies show positive brain development for learning math and science). Play board games, get outside, read, ﬁsh, camp, exercise, etc. R: Rules for usage: less than 1 hour of TV on school days and less than 30 minutes of screen time on weekends balanced with outside play time. Shut down electronics one hour before bed. Turn oﬀ TV when not in use. Screens must be used in family areas only. Caution: consideration and support is needed in developing rules for those with strong screen addiction. E: Evolve the mindbody to this age of electronics. Calming adrenals, energizing the brain... see mindbodylab.com for a full set of videos on how to evolve.
Juli Steinocher is founder of mindbodylab.com, a counseling center dedicated to treating the whole self. Educated, licensed and certified in a rare blend of approaches and techniques, Juli created the mindbodylab as a unique place connecting traditional therapy with modern and ancient approaches. Her training in traditional counseling provides her a solid foundation for one-on-one, couples and family therapy. She oﬀers one-on-one counseling and group workshops with topics including women’s issues, weight, chronic pain/ health conditions and fatigue. Also go to mindbodylab.com to register for the April 27th workshop to prepare families for the National Screen Free Week (April 29 - May 5).
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parenting Given the ﬁnancial diﬃculties of the last several years, we have all witnessed ﬁrst-hand the diﬀerence making good choices in life verses bad choices can make. It is my strong belief that the ability to make good decisions at critical choice points in life is one of the key diﬀerentiators between people who ultimately reach their true potential and those who don’t. I’ve also observed that the people who are the happiest, most content and fulﬁlled share similar qualities, including a positive attitude, a sense of responsibility, resourcefulness, perseverance, respect for others and a clear understanding and commitment to their goals.
How do we instill these traits in our own children?
Better Choices, Brighter Lives By CHRISTY ZIGLAR
It starts with teaching our children to think beyond the moment and to consider the consequences of their actions and attitudes. Every decision we make has an end result and each choice impacts the next. Talk to your children about setting goals (they can be fun, short-term goals like a trip to the zoo or a longer-term goal like learning to play an instrument or a new sport). Set some parameters and give your children the opportunity to make age-appropriate choices toward achieving their goals.
In our house, we use reward charts. When I catch my kids As parents, we all want our children to making good choices or “shining bright,” Character is taught live their best possible lives and reach (sharing, being kind, putting away their things, “doing life” together their true potential, but are we teaching etc.) they receive star points. If they are making every day, and our kids poor choices, they lose stars. It’s been fun to them the life skills and principles that will ultimately allow them to thrive? In our will emulate what they watch their progress as they’ve learned the hectic and busy lives, how often do we take observe in us. patience and self-control to wait for the bigger the time to talk about our values and what’s reward instead of “cashing in” their star points most important to us? Have we deﬁned these things for ourselves? early for something smaller and less meaningful. It’s important Are we using everyday experiences as teachable moments or simply to create a relevant context for teaching the value of long-term rushing from one activity to the next? We all know that today’s goals. Our kids need to understand how the choices we make little people become tomorrow’s leaders, but what kind of leaders throughout the day directly impact our lives and the lives of will they become? those around us.
parenting One of the hardest parts of being the grownup is having the discipline to enforce the consequences of our children’s actions; especially when less-than-ideal choices have been made and our kids are not pleased with the result. Though diﬃcult, I think this is critical. As parents, we have to be consistent. None of us like to see our child struggle or suﬀer, but denying our children their every “want” and even allowing them to fail or simply “miss out” from time to time lets them learn from their mistakes and helps build character. Learning to work hard at something to overcome challenges develops perseverance. Isn’t it better to learn these hard life lessons as a child when the consequences are relatively mild? To quote my uncle, Zig Ziglar, “the chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want the most for what you want now.” If we haven’t determined what we want the most, it’s easy to get distracted by the dozens of temptations we face every day. In our instant-gratification world and with our consumptive lifestyles, convincing our children of the benefits of delayed gratification is a challenge. The more we have conversations about speciﬁc goals and what’s really important, the more we encourage our kids to shine their brightest! We’ve all heard many times that ‘actions speak louder than words’ and this is never truer than in parenting. Character is taught “doing life” together every day, and our kids will emulate what they observe in us. Let’s all be more purposeful and proactive so instead of making choices that are merely “good enough,” we’ll make choices that are GREAT! Let’s commit to saying ‘no’ to distractions and focus more of our resources on the things in life that are truly important. Together we’ll build a brighter world. Choose Right. Shine Bright.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Christy Ziglar is an author, mother of twins, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ professional and the niece of legendary motivator, Zig Ziglar. Can’t-Wait Willow!, released by Ideals Children’s Books, is the first book in the new Shine Bright Kids picture book series that teaches the importance of making good choices. For more info, free reward charts and additional parenting resources, visit AlwaysShineBright.com
Parenting Drop-In Clinic Introducing Informative and Encouraging Monthly Sessions for Moms sponsored by the coaches of 1 Minute Mommy. See our website for the full year’s schedule. April 29 Setting Limits with Children May 21 Handling Anger – Our Children/ Ourselves June 20 Effective and Ineffective Listening Sessions are 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the community room at 1BOFSB #SFBE r UI 4U / JO 4U 1FUFSTCVSH QFS DMBTT t 4QBDF JT MJNJUFE Pre-registration required at 1minutemommy.com or by sending an email to email@example.com.
parenting P.L.E.A.S.E. P is for Play Play together more, including role-playing and imaginative games. L is for Love Spend more quality time together. Children may appear to tolerate a parent who is unavailable, overworked or distracted, but they often medicate those diﬃcult feelings with food. E is for Emotions Educate yourself and your family by consulting with an expert on hidden feelings. There are many resources and activities that can help improve emotional literacy. Remember, healthy feelings lead to healthy eating. A is for Activity Be more active every day, increasing the amount of exercise your child gets.
MAGIC FOR KIDS Ask, Are YOU Feeling Hungry? Or is Your TUMMY Hungry?
S is for Silence Listen more, talk less, pay attention to your child’s clues, and be in the moment. When you speak, keep it positive by demonstrating new skills instead of resorting to punishment and control. E is for Eat Healthy Weight Watchers and Overeaters Anonymous are great places to start learning healthy eating habits.
By AVA PARNASS Looking for a magical way to help your child eat healthier or weigh less? I have one magic trick for getting kids eating and living healthier, and that is, drum roll please….. Prevention and Intervention.
The Food-Mood Makeover: Improving Your Responses
It is a surprise to most parents that their kids’ feelings get hungry, Here is a typical parent-child conversation and some alternative responses for the parent. How we respond can make all the diﬀerence too, not just their tummies. and help us get to the root of what is going on with the child. Kids’ day-to-day upsets and unexpressed feelings can lead to overeating, but food can never truly satisfy emotional hunger. Here are Child: “Mom, can I have a snack?” some thoughts on how to get to the root of the problem. Parents’ Old Responses: “No, you just had one.” “Enough already!” “ Your clothes are already too tight.” “ Your tummy’s getting big.” Since most kids are not adept at identifying or expressing their “I said NO, stop eating!” feelings in language - only in outward behavior - they need to learn how to eﬀectively express what’s wrong. The more parents Parents’ New Response: “I notice that you’re really hungry and learn to recognize children’s behavior as “disguised feelings” and asking for a lot of snacks lately. I think your feelings are hungry, not bring those buried feelings to awareness, the more improvement your tummy. Is something bothering you? What’s on your mind? will occur in the overeating behavior. Your kids may already be Child: “That’s crazy! Nothing is bothering me, I’m just HUNGRY!” giving you clues about what upsets them, most of which have Parent: “I know it’s hard to tell the diﬀerence between a hungry nothing to do with food at all. tummy and hungry feelings, but we’re going to start a new routine in You can help your child recognize this Food-Mood Connection our family. So, is there something you really need? Maybe more hugs, by teaching them the diﬀerence between physical and emotional or spending more time together? Did your feelings get hurt today? hunger. We teach our children to walk, talk and read. If in addition Did a teacher or a friend say something that upset you?” to those skills we also show them how to recognize and fully Child: “No, nothing’s wrong, nothing happened! I want a snack express their underlying feelings, they won’t need to medicate now… I’m starving!” their emotional needs with food. If you notice your child is overweight or overeats frequently, here are ﬁve areas to consider in a Food-Mood Makeover.
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Parent: “Okay, in a little while. But let’s try something new ﬁrst.” At this point, give your child some choices as to what might be wrong, or what they might be feeling. Most emotional upsets result from a series of events.
parenting Food-Mood Connection Even if introducing the idea of the Food-Mood Connection is as far as you get at ﬁrst, at least you’ve started the conversation about the relationship between perceived hunger and emotional states such as sadness, hurt, anger, disappointment, frustration and fear. Children always need to be given choices of possible feelings to help them learn to identify them. It’s like learning to read - no one learns a complex skill overnight. So practice and patience are key.
Treating Obesity and Overeating Using Emotional Intelligence Techniques The idea is more talking about feelings. Most parents think they can have it all, and do it all well. However, the rise in childhood obesity and the troubling psychiatric statistics demonstrate that our kids are suﬀering because their emotional needs are not being met. They often turn to acting out and/or medicating their feelings with food. While it’s true that kids have too much fast food, too much homework and not enough recess or physical activity, these problems cannot be solved without dealing with the underlying emotional issues. Once a baby or young child (or an adult) gets in the habit of eating because they don’t know how they feel, or to hide their emotions, they have made the food-mood connection. The eating just covers up how the child really feels about his or her life, relationships, activities, friends, school and more. Parents with overweight children need to learn what to do diﬀerently. Chances are if your child is overweight, you tend to parent with some of the following ways: • Over-controlling • Bossy • Strict • Rigid • Very lenient and easy going, but overly concerned about others feelings
Parents should seek a happy medium with every type of parenting. Note to parents: You won’t think you are doing any of the above, but please try to understand the connection and impact your parenting has on your child’s weight so you can change things. If your child is overweight: • Chances are you argue about food, talk a lot about food, and control food and behavior. Those actions, in addition to not processing feelings, contribute to eating issues. • Chances are you expect your children to be too well behaved and have more empathy for others’ point of view/feelings, as opposed to empathy for yourself and for what your child is going through (both are needed and your child’s feelings come ﬁrst). • Chances are you as parents are overwhelmed, depressed or anxious and need help. You probably had a diﬃcult childhood, but think it was great. Or if you know it wasn’t great, you probably think your parents did the best they could. • Chances are you expect too much from your children and the only way they misbehave is by overeating. • Chances are you turned your child into “helper helpy pants,” helping others more than themselves; there needs to be a balance. • Chances are in your adult family there are food, drug, alcohol, weight, anxiety or depression issues. That is a sign that learning to process feelings was not a part of your childhood. • Chances are you have trouble meeting your own emotional needs, so you have trouble understanding and meeting your child’s emotional needs. And because we can’t teach what we have not learned your children won’t know how to meet their needs. The result is that they medicate their feelings with food.
Ava Parnass, a.k.a. “The Kid Whisperer,” is an author, songwriter and child therapist. Ms. Parnass helps kids figure out how they feel through playing, talking, listening, reading, singing and dancing. Her multi-media materials, books and songs encourage parents and kids to be more aware of feelings. Her book, My Feelings Are Hungry is available at Amazon.com. Ms. Parnass also has a sub-specialty in the connection between “Emotional Intelligence” i.e. Time-In parenting and childhood obesity. Parents use her materials to discover and practice techniques of “Prevention, Not Intervention! To find out more about How to become a Behavior and Feelings Detective, Feeling Map Town and the soon-to-be-released book, Time in Not Time Out, go to listentomeplease.com.
GoodLiving Spring Edition 2013 23
PLAY THERAPY: More Than Just Fun! By DOLORES MORTIMER
“To read the language of play is to read the hearts and minds of children.” – Ruth Hartley “My preschooler is being dismissed from his second daycare provider because he can’t get along with the other children.” “My child is angry all the time and I don’t know why.” “My daughter is a perfectionist. If she can’t do something right the ﬁrst time, she doesn’t even try.” “My son used to like school. Now it is a big ﬁght to get him up in the morning to go. He is very clingy and I don’t know why.” The big question is “Does my child need help? If so, what kind of help do I seek? I don’t even know where to begin?”
Play therapy builds on the natural way children learn about themselves, their relationships and their world. Trained play therapists help aid the process by providing a safe place and facilitating the expression of thoughts, feelings and experiences through the toys and special materials in the playroom. Play therapy promotes cognitive growth, resolves inner conﬂict or faulty thinking patterns, and provides insight for the child and therapist to enter into the healing process.
Raising children is more challenging than ever. There are so many inﬂuences on the way our children respond and adapt to their world. Ever changing family dynamics, school demands, peer pressure, media manipulation, the daily news and even the video games they are playing have some bearing on the way our children perceive, decipher and react to their everyday experiences. Often it is diﬃcult to make sense of our child’s behavior. There is help available and it is fun! It’s called play therapy.
Parents and caregivers are a huge part of the process. Parents are guided in ways to help their child. Positive discipline techniques are provided as well as helpful hints on encouraging communication skills and restorative play techniques. Play therapy empowers children and families to work together to resolve challenges that eﬀect the whole family.
Play therapy is more than just fun. It’s therapeutic. Adults use words to express themselves; children use the language of play. Play is vital in the development of the child. Through play children learn problem solving skills, communication strategies, social competence, conﬂict management skills, and emotional expression and regulation. Play therapy is a unique method of counseling children on their developmental level. Play therapy is highly eﬀective for children 3 to 11 years old who may manifest behavior problems, emotional diﬃculties, mental health issues (such as post-traumatic stress), ADHD, depression, Asperger’s syndrome, anxiety or any number of conditions.
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Finding a good play therapist is key. Registered Play Therapists are licensed mental health professionals with extra training, experience, and supervision speciﬁcally in children’s developmental issues. They hold a minimum of a master’s degree in mental health, counseling or psychology. For more speciﬁc information, go to the Association for Play Therapy website at a4pt.org. You may learn more about the integrity and beneﬁts of play therapy by viewing short videos and reading informative articles.
Dolores Mortimer is Director House of Mercy & Encouragement, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing mental health and educational services to children and their families that encourage caring, compassion and a sense of well being in a welcoming and comfortable environment. It is located in Dunedin. She is also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (#5480), Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor and National Certified Counselor.
eating EAT LOCAL PRODUCE:
Be GOOD to Your Body and the Earth! Special to GoodLiving by RICK BLOUIN, Co-Vice President of the Suncoast Co-op
I watch the evening news and think, what have we done to ourselves? Many of us have fallen into the same trap each week: we go to work, come home, eat a processed dinner and then sit on the couch to watch TV. Hopefully you are eating and living a healthy lifestyle, but if not there are resources to help you to get healthy. How do you start?
Review Your Current Habits By Making a List •Do you eat fresh fruits and vegetables? Remember that seasonal is always freshest and local is better. Also ﬁnd organic if possible. •Do you read the labels at the market? Most of the ingredients in packaged and processed foods are confusing so start by learning the basics. •Are you exercising? Get out and exercise by taking a walk after dinner. •Where are you shopping? Try to change to local resources like Farmer’s Markets, Co-ops and Buying clubs. •Check with your Doctor before making any decisions for a weight loss program. Kids can and will eat healthier food. Yet many parents deal with children who say, “I don’t like that,” to just about anything healthy. So how can you change that attitude? •Get creative to make food interesting. •Involve them in the food process. •Let them make the menu (but you decide the ingredients). •Take them grocery shopping and ask them to identify the fruits and vegetables. •Ask them how produce can ﬁt into a menu. •Realize that some produce is most deﬁnitely an adult acquired taste. •Get back into the kitchen because not all meals require hours of preparation. •Teach them to prepare food with you. One other thing you can do is choose to join the 10% movement. What is that you ask? The 10% movement is getting back to basics by moving 10% of your diet to locally grown fruit, vegetables and protein. Depending on your age, your parents or grandparents probably had a garden in the yard somewhere. Growing some of your own food is a good start to help you move toward that 10%. Remember Victory Gardens? They are making
a comeback. Container gardening is an option if you live in a condo or apartment and have a sunny balcony. More community gardens are popping up, too, so dig in and plant a small plot and make some new friends. If none of the above is doable, ﬁnd a local Food Co-op that serves your area and order your fresh 10% from them.
Co-ops like the Suncoast Co-op have a unique purpose and niche in the food industry. They are providing local backyard gardeners and small urban farmers an outlet to sell their surplus produce and cottage industry products. All growers are inspected by the Co-op to ensure they are using organic growing principles and staying away from the use of chemical pesticides. Buyers typically shop online and their produce gets delivered. The Co-ops also provide training classes for those who want to garden but need a bit of assistance to get it going and be successful. They even have a page on Facebook where members share current information about food, gardening, events and health issues, all of which provide continuing education and encouragement for eating healthy and eating local. Rick Blouin is the Co-Vice President of the Suncoast Co-Op, serving the west Pasco and north Pinellas areas. Find them at SuncoastCo-op.com and on Facebook.
Other Local Co-ops
St. Pete Locally Grown is an online green market that serves the St. Petersburg area. Nathan and Tina Levy are co-market managers, and oﬀer a variety of local produce and other healthy products including skin care products, spices, eggs and honey. None of the growers use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. The online market opens Monday at 5 p.m. and closes on Wednesday at noon. The products are delivered mid-morning on Friday. There is a $35 membership fee per family to order online from the market. StPete.LocallyGrown.net The Dunedin Harvest Food & Garden Co-op was founded by Bree Cheatham in 2009. Her goal is to help make Dunedin a sustainable community where the citizens of Dunedin are able to produce, supply and buy organic food and plants, grown and prepared in Dunedin and the surrounding areas. Also oﬀered are healthy living and organic gardening consultation. Dunedinharvest.com
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eating Showcase Your Spring Harvest by CHRISTY WATERHOUSE Spring vegetables evoke the words “green” & “fresh” and include artichokes, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, green onions, peas, beans, pea pods, carrots, herbs, lettuce, chard, kale and spinach.
Roasting: oven roast carrots, green beans, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts that have been tossed with olive oil and herbs. General rule of thumb is 20-30 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Toddlers tend to love foods with more depth of ﬂavor, so roasting is a good option. Babies will also love the puree you prepare for them.
Spring soups: boil potatoes, carrots and Brussels sprouts in broth of choice for 20 minutes. Before removing from heat, stir in chopped spring greens, fresh herbs, peas, and onion. Season as desired.
So what do you do with spring vegetables? Showcase them! First determine if they can be served fresh, without cooking, then Remember to include your spring vegetables in quiches, omelets, wash and display the beautiful harvest in a salad. Bring lettuce and stirred into pasta and rice dishes. and delicate spring greens together in a chopped salad with other raw vegetables. Christy Waterhouse, “Thee Baby If cooking is desired for the vegetables, decide on a cooking Lady,” is an author, baby professional, method that preserves the word “fresh” and don’t overcook. and postpartum doula with 33 years Steaming: lightly steam or simmer and then plunge into an experience. She holds healthy eating ice bath to retain crispness. Drain well. Good for peas, pea pods, classes and events for babies, toddlers beans, and asparagus (cook 2-3 minutes). Brussels sprouts can and their moms, and is the author cook about 8-10 minutes so they are more tender. Serve vegetables of Z Is for Zucchini, a Baby Foods in a bowl or platter. Leave them plain with simple salt and Memory Book. She can be reached at pepper, or drizzle a little olive oil and ﬁnish with fresh lemon. TheeBabyLady@gmail.com or ﬁnd her Butter or a cream sauce (just a little) can also be added. For on Facebook as Thee Baby Lady. babies, serve plain and puree to age appropriate consistency.
Treasure the Small Sea By LUCINDA JOHNSTON
Treasure-seeking explorers called it Mar Pequeña, the “small sea.” After being battered by its storms in 1528, Pánﬁlo de Narvárez sought refuge in a large bay he gratefully called “Bahia de Santa Cruz” or Bay of the Sacred Cross – now Tampa Bay. Nearly 500 years later, the Gulf of Mexico and the hundreds of bays, rivers and inlets that surround it still dazzle us with riches. Maybe the only gold that we ﬁnd now is a spectacular sunset that ﬂashes colors as rich as any chest of jewels. Today’s Gulf of Mexico is a treasure that those early explorers could hardly imagine; it accounts for 55% of U.S. crude oil production, 52% of natural gas production, and 48% of reﬁnery capacity. But BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill shows us that the price for obtaining those riches still can be unimaginably high. In fact, the real cost of modern treasure-seeking may not be known for years, or even generations. Why? Because the Gulf not only powers our cars, it also feeds us on a breathtaking scale. Most US wetlands and sea grass, and all of its mangroves, are found in the Gulf, especially in Florida. Because 95% of all commercially and recreationally important ﬁnﬁsh and shellﬁsh depend on that habitat for some part of their life cycle, the Gulf is a crucial food source. And while Gulf Coast estuaries make up only 24% of all US estuaries by area, they are amazingly productive. The Gulf accounts for 85% of all shrimp, 60% of all oysters, and 50% of recreational ﬁshing catch in the US. At over 1.3 billion pounds of annual seafood production, the Gulf produces more ﬁnﬁsh, shrimp and shellﬁsh than the rest of the south, mid-Atlantic, Chesapeake and New England regions, combined.
photos from chart411.com
In the face of encroaching development, greater demand for the oil and gas under the Gulf ’s sea ﬂoor, and more eﬃcient but damaging ﬁshing and shellﬁsh harvesting methods, the abundance of this important food source may not be sustainable for much longer. According to many experts, Blueﬁn Tuna, Atlantic Cod, and various snappers and groupers may be extinct or critically diminished to a point from which they cannot recover in the foreseeable future. But, despite these dire predictions, with easily-managed behavior changes, this potentially catastrophic problem can be solved.
So What Can We All Do to Preserve this Treasure? Prevent runoff. Use plants or permeable materials along waterways to prevent runoﬀ into rivers, creeks or canals. It all runs into the Gulf sooner or later, carrying whatever chemicals and debris are on the surface. Minimize use of pesticides and fertilizers. Many chemicals and fertilizers promote algae growth and may contribute to the dreaded “red tide” that kills ﬁsh and pollutes our beaches. Reduce plastic. A Florida beach clean-up produced 180 tons of garbage – 60% of it plastic. Plastic bags are especially lethal for wildlife, since sea turtles, birds and ﬁsh mistake them for jellyﬁsh and can ingest them.
Dispose of hazardous materials properly. Don’t dump hazardous waste or chemicals down the drain or into storm sewers; it will wash directly into the Bay and Gulf. Be a clean boater. Be careful when fueling, cleaning, or servicing your boat. Avoid fuel spills or any cleaners not approved by the Coast Guard for on-water use. Carry your trash oﬀ the boat, and don’t discharge waste into the water. Watch where you’re going. Don’t drive boats in shallow water or through sea grass beds. Propellers damage these fragile ecosystems and can destroy important habitat. Eat sustainable seafood. Check out whether the ﬁsh on the menu is caught or raised in a sustainable way. Reduce personal dependence on oil. Walk, bike, or ride public transport whenever possible. Take only pictures. Never pick up live shells, sand dollars, crabs, or other beach creatures. They are living animals that die a horrible death when stored on the hotel window sill. Besides, they’ll stink to high heaven before you can get them home!
If a lot of people make a few changes, that produces a big change! Check out these other sources for what you can do to protect the Gulf.
Chart 411 chart411.com
Mote Marine Laboratory mote.org
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration noaa.gov/ocean.html
For sustainable seafood guyharvey.com/seafood-guide montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx
Author: Lucinda L. Johnston, Executive Director, Chart 411. Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like us on Facebook facebook.com/Chart411 Visit our website chart411.com
faithful and a good listener. These gifts, his leadership example and the work ethic my father instilled in me led me to accept a job at Operation PAR, a credible non-proﬁt organization providing behavioral healthcare services including prevention, research and treatment for individuals and families struggling with the disease of addiction, and then to LiveFree! Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Pinellas County where I am currently the Executive Director. In my work I strive to achieve that excellent standard he set every day during his 73 years of living. My Daddy was known for his love for preaching the gospel, family and friends, storytelling, country music, Alabama Crimson Tide SEC football and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was a brick mason and an amazing artist. He could visualize and build new creations without blueprints or architectural drawings. His masonry work spans the hills of Alabama and throughout Florida’s coastal and rural communities as homes, businesses, churches and restaurants.
MY STORY by JACKIE SUE GRIFFIN, MS
The Good Samaritan: Protector, Preacher, Teacher Following the recent passing of my father, I have spent several weeks reﬂecting on how much he inﬂuenced me and shaped me as a person and Servant Leader. It is because of his inﬂuence that I have dedicated my life to community service and championing change in Pinellas County. My story is not unique, but the source of the inspiration, Ray Nelson Griﬃn, was one of a kind. I have always been a Daddy’s girl. I was one of three children and we all loved and idolized our father. Family meant everything to Dad. He made millions in his lifetime and invested it into the “best stock,” on the market, his family. His children, Lisa Yvonne Griﬃn, Jackie Sue Griﬃn and Jonathan Ray Griﬃn – were his prized possessions. Daddy taught me daily what it means to be a steward and Good Samaritan in the community. And he provided me with the best leadership training on the planet. He was a natural Servant Leader and was constantly demonstrating random acts of kindness, embracing our world with unconditional love and forgiveness. It was also in his blood to give generously in his service to others. Through the years, Daddy opened his home as place of refuge to several of my brother’s friends. He provided jobs, rides and even gas money to those in need. As such, my father raised me to be empathetic, generous, PHOTO CAPTIONS (top) Jackie Sue Griﬃn with her son Devon Tyler Konyha. (middle) A childhood picture of Jackie Sue as a baby with her mom, Jessie Yvonne Griﬃn, her father Ray Nelson Griﬃn and her older sister Lisa Yvonne.
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I, too, am able to visualize change and devise a plan to reach it. As an individual with 17 years recovery, I understand ﬁrsthand the need to change people, places and things to ensure a better lifestyle for myself and my son, Devon Tyler Konyha. I also understand that each individual’s recovery process is unique and that when it comes to prevention, intervention or treatment that “one size does not ﬁt all.” That is why I work so hard to develop alternatives for treatment, therapy and support. On a daily basis, I am motivated by both my father and amazing everyday champions and their miraculous stories of perseverance and success against all odds. Additional motivators include optimistic-minded people, dedicated community leaders, vibrant community involvement and community fellowship. Much like my father, I surround myself with good people and good football. Daddy didn’t mind getting his hands dirty and doing whatever it took to get the job done. He was relentless with his work ethic and challenged others in his company to keep the same pace. I strive to do the same. I will continue “getting my hands dirty” while teaching others to ﬁnd inner strength and garner the understanding that when it comes to behavioral health care and wellness services, there are many options to explore. I believe it is never too late to build a new tomorrow until we no longer have that tomorrow. I will always strive to make him proud, both as a parent and through my work in the community. It is because of him, the lessons he taught me and the example he set that I will work so hard to make sure my community is a better place and focus on the positive.
Remembering Ray Nelson Griffin March 6, 1940 - March 7, 2013
Jackie Griﬃn is Executive Director of the LiveFree! Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Pinellas County and Vice President of Development at Operation PAR, Inc. She holds 18 years experience in grant and business development, advocacy, sustainability and coalition leadership. jgriﬃn@operpar.org | 813-503-5658 | pinellascoalition.com email@example.com | livefreeblog.org | facebook.com/livefreeFL
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