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Good News: Affordable Summer Fun for Families

11 Good Products 12-13 Good People Not Your Momma’s PTA! Superstars in Action By Thais Leon-Miller

19 Good Parenting Stop Summer Sibling Squabbles By Kirk Martin

26-27 Good Eating Summer Recipes for the Cookout

28 Good Eating I am a

Food Bits

Features 16 Meet Dr. Biddleman New Director for the JWB

17 Help Your Kids Avoid the “Summer Slide”

20-21 Safe, Educational Family Fun On the Water About the Cover This issue’s cover is a photograph by E.J. Acotto of Acotto images: Event, Wedding & Portrait Photography Model provided by AI Models (727) 485-3771

By Lucinda Johnston

22-24 Letter from Dad By Dr. William E. Rice

Learn more at Acotto Img on Facebook

30 My Story By Jenna Devito-Roisum


Summer 2013

This issue is dedicated to the precious memory of my mother

Publisher Light Shine Media Group, LLC

Editor-in-Chief Pamela Settle

Design and Layout Marcie Kelliher

Contributing Writers Lucinda Johnston Thais Leon-Miller Kirk Miller Jenna Devito-Roisum William Rice

Distribution provided by ASAP Distribution

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GoodLiving™ Magazine & P.O. Box 1795 Oldsmar, Florida 34677 (727) 776-3656 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 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 It is with a heavy heart that I finish the summer issue of GoodLiving® Magazine as I always do – by writing this letter and sealing the magazine with my final thoughts and encouragements. Just over a week ago, I watched an honor guard take the flag from my mother’s casket, fold it and with precision and respect, hand its triangular shape to my father. My mother is a Vietnam-era Veteran. She and her brother were the first and only boy-girl twins to join the U.S. Army at the same time. Not bad for a farm girl who was looking for adventure at age 18. I think about all the hopes and dreams of young people who voluntarily join our military service organizations. This 4th of July, please remember them as you celebrate. It was appropriate, I suppose, that she would pass on Memorial Day. She was proud to be an American. Every year that national cemetery will be covered in flags, and I’ll pretend they are doing it just for her because she always liked a good celebration. My mom would be described in today’s terms as a stay-at-home mom. Her family was her pride and joy. And while she never earned a degree or held a big corporate job, her success story is in the fact that she was surrounded by her family during every one of her last minutes. She cultivated that love by who she was and what she gave, without complaint, without question and without a stack of parenting books. She taught me to cook and clean and be a lady – all pretty valuable today because school taught me my trade, but it didn’t teach me how to be a woman, or how to be a mother who would do anything for her child. In her last decade of life, she was completely dependent upon my dad for care because of advanced multiple sclerosis. I’m grateful for that marriage because even though there were times she could have left, she stayed. And because she stayed, she had a devoted caregiver and partner. They truly defined commitment and all who witnessed them were blessed. We are all a product from where we come and what’s inside. I am so very aware of that as I raise my own child. Last night I was involved in a conversation about the difference between IDENTITY and LEGACY. Of course my mother was on my mind. She never questioned her identity as a wife, mother and woman. And even when others would look at her disabled body and wonder about her identity, her legacy was loud and proud, rich and enduring. Thank you mom. The GOOD in me is because of the GOOD in you. Until next time,

Pamela Settle

news EVENT

4th of July Events

Happy Birthday America!

Make it a GOOD 4th of July!

Kiwanis Morton Plant Mease Midnight Run Ring in the holiday with races that happen around midnight on July 3 into the morning of the 4th! 10K race course on Causeway Boulevard to Honeymoon Island State Park. 10k starts at 12:15 a.m. Enjoy a flat course that is lit by more than 700 luminaries. A 5K starts at 11:25 p.m. and the 1-mile run starts at 11 p.m. Event raises money for Kiwanis programs.

Clearwater Celebrates America: Fourth of July at Coachman Park The city’s annual Independence Day celebration will feature a patriotic concert, fireworks, children’s activities, games, vendors, and food and drink concessions. Gates open at 4 p.m.

Safety Harbor Fourth of July Parade on Main Street Wave your flags for a patriotic parade down Main Street featuring the American Legion Auxiliary.

Safety Harbor Fourth of July at Safety Harbor City Marina Find a good seat at the Marina or the back lawn of the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa and enjoy a day of children’s activities, live entertainment, food vendors and fireworks.

Tarpon Springs Independence Day Picnic at Craig Park Enjoy free hotdogs and chips, while supplies last, or pack a picnic for this patriotic themed family event with children’s activities.

Tarpon Springs Fourth of July Fireworks at Fred Howard Park A long-time favorite spot for watching fireworks is back in business! The City of Tarpon Springs has resumed fireworks at this scenic location. Go early to get a good spot.

Largo Fourth of July Celebration at Largo Central Park Central Park will light up with fun and fireworks. A day of fun includes DJ music, activities, food vendors and fireworks. Limited $5 parking available.

4th of July Fest at Archibald Park in Madeira Beach All day event that is fun for the whole family. Free concerts, food vendors, kid’s area, aqua Bubbles & slide, hula-hoop contests, gyrosphere and more. Largest fireworks show on the beach at 9 p.m. All day parking available for $10. Free shuttle.

8 GoodLiving Summer 2013

4th of July on Treasure Island A day long patriotic beach bash from noon to 9 p.m. behind the Bilmar Beach Resort. The event includes live music, food vendors, family games, watermelon and hot dog eating contests Fireworks start at 8:45 p.m. Beach parking is available at 112th Avenue and Gulf Blvd.

Fourth of July in Downtown St. Petersburg by The Pier Enjoy this last year of fireworks over The Pier. Start the day at noon as the approach to The Pier will be home to festivities including live music and performers. Fireworks at 9 p.m. can be seen from most of the city’s waterfront parks.

Fourth of July at the Museum of Fine Arts If you want a quieter evening, start your night with live jazz by O Som Do Jazz while dining from the gourmet barbecue buffet. Best seat in town for the St. Petersburg fireworks. Price: $45, $36 members (reservations required).

Gulfport’s Fourth of July Celebration A huge day in Gulfport is planned! Start early with a kids fishing derby at 8 a.m. On the beach, a sand sculpting contest starts at 10 a.m. Children’s activities area, auto show, crafts, live music at 5 p.m. and a parade at 6 p.m. Fireworks start at 9 p.m. All free.

4th of July at St. Pete Beach City officials say the 30-minute display set from a barge floating in the Gulf can be viewed from the City’s beaches to the South. All of County Park will be closed to the public prior to the display. Fireworks begin at dusk.

Red, Brick and Boom: Legoland Fourth of July Guests don special viewing glasses that turn an ordinary fireworks display into millions of exploding bricks. Tickets required.

Red, White and Zoo at Lowry Park Zoo Spend Independence Day at the zoo. Members of the military and up to three direct dependents will be admitted to the zoo free of charge. Includes active duty, reservists and National Guard members.

Fourth of July at the History Center The Tampa Bay History Center celebrates Independence Day by offering free admission and extended hours on July 4. Costumed re-enactors will share hands-on displays of artifacts, uniforms, crafts and music representing the Civil-War, Seminole War, Spanish American War, and WWII-era soldiers, sailors and more. Tampa Bay History Center in Downtown Tampa. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

news EVENT

Affordable Summer Fun for Families Sunsets at Pier 60

Kidding Around Yoga Join them the first and third Saturdays of the month at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Pete at 10 a.m. for a yoga class for kids age 3 and older. Their system utilizes yoga poses creatively tucked into games with music and stories. Practicing yoga with everyone in the family and especially children creates a special bond. $5 for individuals. Bring a towel or yoga mat.

Ride the Trolley All Summer If mom’s taxi service is overloaded this summer, consider our local buses and trolleys for older kids. PSTA’s popular and affordable Summer Youth Haul Pass is only $35 for the summer. To help them get to summer jobs, volunteer gigs or to meet up with friends, kids 18 and under get unlimited rides on PSTA and the Clearwater Jolley Trolley ( between May 15 and August 31 (excluding Routes 100X and 300X to Tampa). Middle and high school students need to show ID to get their pass at any PSTA Customer Service Center.

Free Bowling at AMF AMF Summer Unplugged is back for another season! Sign your kids up for free bowling and they’ll get to play two free games per day every day until September 2, 2013. Shoe rental is not included. No coupons or vouchers necessary and you can register up to six children under age 15. Parents can purchase a summer pass for $34.95. In Pinellas County, the AMF location is Clearwater Lanes, 1850 N. Hercules Ave. Register online at

Free Golf in Tarpon Springs Several deals this summer will get your kids swinging: 1) Every day this summer from June to August, children ages 5 to 15 can get a free bucket of balls to hit at the Ace Golf Range at the Wentworth and Crescent Oaks Golf Clubs. No purchase necessary and an adult must be present. 2) Kids can play a free round of golf after 12 noon during the week with one paid adult greens fee. 3) Wentworth Golf Club wants families to spend quality time golfing together this summer, so they are giving kids a FREE round of golf and a FREE kids meal at Mulligans every Sunday, now through August 31.

Reading with the Rays Every summer kids all over Tampa Bay earn incentives for reading library books as part of the Reading with the Rays summer reading incentive program. To get started, ask your local librarian for information and READ!

Come and enjoy a Key West Mallory Square style nightly party celebrating sunset with arts and crafts vendors, street performers and live music.

Dive-In Movies Dive-In Movies at the St. Pete Beach Aquatic Center are a popular activity during the summer. Bring your noodles, floats and chairs every Friday for the fun. Get there early so you can float and swim a while before the film starts. Price: $4. (Many other city pools offer floating movie night during the summer, so check their websites to get dates and locations.)

Indoor Movies Several theater chains are offering free or discount movies for kids during the summer. Check each theater for listings of movies. Muvico FREE Summer Film Fest at Baywalk 20 in Downtown St. Petersburg and the Palm Harbor 10 in Palm Harbor shows a different children’s movie every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. FREE Summer Kids Shows at Cobb Theatres at Countryside Mall. Family movies on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. through the summer. Regal Theaters is showing G- and PG- rated movies for $1 every Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the summer as part of Regal Summer Movie Express. Locations include Park Place Stadium 16 in Pinellas Park and Largo Mall 8.

Other great suggestions for summer fun with the family: Bike Rides on the Pinellas Trail • Camping at Fort De Soto • Fishing from a pier • Flying Kites at Anderson Park • A Picnic with Friends • Learn to Hoola Hoop • Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt • Get a Team for a Kids Fun Run • Take in a Rays Game • Learn to paddle a canoe at Weedon Island • Explore the nature center at Brooker Creek • Teach navigation with Geocaching • Visit Heritage Village and the Botanical Gardens • Check out a new park throughout the county every week GoodLiving Summer 2013


products ThermaCELL® Mosquito Repellent Repel mosquitoes and other flying bugs in a less toxic way with lanterns and hand-held appliances that emit allethrin, a copy of what occurs naturally in chrysanthemum flowers. A small butane cartridge provides cordless, portable heat that activates a small mat, saturated with the repellent allowing it rise into the air. Works within minutes and protects a 15’ x 15’ area, about the size of a patio. Requires refills. Devices sell for $20 to $30 at Walmart, Sports Authority and other sporting goods stores. Also online at

Rae Cosmetics Just in time for the hot, sticky weather! Make up wearers almost always dread hot weather or working out in public because of the mess that gets left on the face. To combat this, Rae Cosmetics has a line of cosmetics ideal for high performance in the heat. They use a micro-crushed blend of clinical-grade nutrients, antioxidants and non-chemical sunscreens to nourish the skin and guard against dangerous sunrays. The oil free formulas allow skin to breathe freely and function normally, as if wearing nothing at all. Animal and earth friendly.

Pet Shades and Quick Shades Keep everyone under cover and out of the sun this summer with a couple of cool shades from Quick Shade. First, check out Pet Shade, a new model made just for your canine pal. These are elevated beds with a built in canopy. The Pet Kennel has a zip enclosure, too. A sturdy frame locks in place and comes with a matching carry bag. Available for small to medium sized dogs. For people on the go, the Quick Shade Go Canopy is easy to set up and lightweight to carry just about anywhere in its own backpack. Perfect for picnics, the beach or any outdoor activity where you will spend some time in the sun. The model with two fold up chairs is $149 and the canopy alone with the backpack is $79. Purchase at

SnoozeShade We can’t leave out the little ones when it comes to shade. These products work for infant car seats, strollers and play yards and are perfect for blocking the sun to protect babies on the go in the hot Florida summer. Products include the SnoozeShade Deluxe ($39.99) that fits strollers and car AYG Clothing seats. It features a lookout panel All Year Gear/365 by PolarMax makes unmentionables worth that protects from 80% of the UV rays. To darken the shade for mentioning, especially in the summer. Their fabric provides a naps, install the outer layer. The SnoozeShade Deluxe Original four-way athletic stretch, great wicking and drying, and is naturally fits joggers and strollers. The SnoozeShade Deluxe Plus has both antimicrobial. Light weight and comfortable too. Boxers, sport a “snooze mode” and a “lookout mode.” The play yard model is briefs and boxer briefs for men and a bikini and boy short for $99. women. They hold up well in the wash too. Prices vary at GoodLiving Summer 2013


people Not Your Momma’s PTA! Superstars in Action by THAIS LEON-MILLER

Lizz Singh Remember the old PTA where stay at home moms would hold a bake sale while chatting about their kid’s soccer practice? After talking to a couple of PTA superstars, you will soon forget- this is Not Your Momma’s PTA! Lizz Singh is a PTA participant at Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr. Elementary going seven years strong. She is also former Vice President of the Ways and Means program at the school, as well as a future Vice President of Programs; oh yeah, she also is making time to be an Advocacy Chair at Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School. She is clearly not the example of a once-a-school-year-car-wash-chaperone; this is a woman who truly supports the ideals of the PTA program and wants to see it work.

Paula Keyser If you are reading this and still feeling like the PTA is still kind of a ‘girl’s club,’ you’ve got it all wrong. Paula Keyser is doing her part to help change the perception. “I think what traditionally people think of the PTA is ‘stayat-home moms’ who do bake sales and get together to eat bon bons and talk about their kids. At least that’s what I thought the PTA was before I got involved. Maybe thirty years ago, but today’s PTA (Not Your Momma’s PTA) is a whole lot of working parents, not just women, and our focus is on bridging the schoolto-home gap and bringing together a school community. Our focus is on programs to help this versus raising money for the school. That comes secondary in our mission. I think a lot of parents think the PTA is all parents too, which is not entirely true. We have lots of the ‘T’ in PTA which are the teachers involved, and grandparents too!” Paula fills the Diversity Outreach position for the Pinellas County PTA. Part of her mission is to reach out to “not only grandparents and dads, but also ESOL, parents who have special needs, etc.” That means the PTA isn’t only looking for moms, but every member of the family can take part and pitch in, and the help, well…helps! Since its inception in 1986, the Pinellas County Foundation has raised over $110 million dollars for our local schools. This is due in no small part to the tireless efforts of people like Paula Keyser, whose faith in our kids is matched only by her commitment and focus on getting you to believe in them too.

“The most important thing parents can get out of becoming a PTA member is supporting an organization that advocates at all levels (local, state and national) for every child. The students see So time to put down those bon bons. Grab Mom, Dad, Grammy, that parents value their education and their school, which gives Grandpa and Uncle Bob— because it is time to join your local them a wonderful sense of pride. When parents volunteer at PTA events, it also shows students the value of volunteering and PTA in the 21st century. This is Not Your Momma’s PTA! giving back, and these students often go on to become volunteers themselves as they get older.” That makes sense; we all know that our kids learn best by the example we set for them. Now what I wanted to know was, how in the world would a busy mom find the time? Lizz recruits busy parent volunteers (she’s the Family and Community Liaison at Jamerson as well) by offering the working parent options. “For example, a working mom probably can’t help run our bookstore during the school day, but they might be able to come help serve pizza during one of our evening programs, or could help during our Saturday All Pro Family Picnic event, or could maintain our website, Facebook page or Twitter feed.” Take it from a woman who knows — Lizz is proud mom to two of her own. It is parents like her that are showing the rest of us that there is time, there is a way, and if our kid’s education isn’t important enough, what is? Paula Keyser is known in the community as an advocate for special needs students and their parents. She also president of HUGS, a local non-profit agency.

12 GoodLiving Summer 2013


“One of our most well attended programs at our school is the All Pro Dad Breakfast. Dads and male care-givers love their children just as much as moms. In past years men have been left out. Nowadays, the PTA encourages and embraces men to step up and represent the male voice in schools parents’ involvement.” As a testament, Linda brings her eight year-old son, Brock, to plenty of PTA events. Those extra voices are being heard and used to make change. The Florida PTA was a sponsor of the bill making it illegal to text and drive. Governor Rick Scott signed it into effect May 28, 2013, helping to make the thousands of Florida roads a little safer for our kids. And it’s the kids that it’s really all about. Linda was kind enough to share one of her most moving moments as a PTA member. Inspired by the love of reading to her own child, she rallied support from the Junior League as well as PTA Fundraisers to get over 800 books for her students. Kids were allowed to come and choose a book of their own to keep. One little girl attempted to return the book that she picked because she didn’t understand it was a gift. Once Linda told her it was hers to take home, she was amazed and held her new book tight to her chest as she walked back to class.

GoodLiving Editor Pamela Settle received the PCCPTA Voice Award for an ongoing commitment to supporting students, parents and teachers and advocating for quality education. Award was presented by Linda Kearschner, outgoing VP of Communication.

PCCPTA incoming officers for the 2013-2014 School Year (left to right) Michelle Alfred, President; Jessica Summers, VP of Leadership; Debbie Sawa-Szostak, VP of Education; Lisa Russell, VP of Advocacy; Charles Derexson, Florida PTA Immediate Past President; Terri Lyn George, VP of Communication; Suhailly Morales, VP of Organization; Kim Nancy, Secretary; Kim Campana, Treasurer. Les Bartholf Photography

Linda’s stories and those from members like her should light a fire in all of us. It’s our children that populate Florida schools, and it is up to us to be involved in their education. A few hours a month can make a difference in the examples that we set for our kids, the changes we make in our communities, and the lives we inspire to do the same.

Les Bartholf Photography

Being a PTA member is personal. It is about your children, their school and your community. Linda Nelson tells us this in the amazing moments that she has shared in the PTA. Linda has worked with the PTA for the past four years, serving as PTA President at Shore Acres Elementary for the last three. When asked about one of the biggest changes she has seen in the organization, she is quick to point out male involvement.

PCCPTA Year-End Awards Dinner

Les Bartholf Photography

Linda Nelson

PCCPTA outgoing officers from the 2013-2013 School Year

In March, Linda challenged students to raise money for charity and write essays. Winners got to shave her head to raise funds for cancer research.

(left to right) Michelle Alfred, VP of Leadership; Cassie Riddick, VP of Education; Judy Owen, VP of Advocacy; Mary Bartholf, President; Jessica Summers, Treasurer; Suhailly Morales, Secretary; Linda Kearschner, VP of Communication. Thank you to these and all PTA volunteers for the GOOD work done on behalf of the children of Pinellas County!

GoodLiving Summer 2013


CLUBS Students promote healthy choices and strong communities.

Students and community members throughout Pinellas County are participating in LiveFree! clubs and becoming a driving force for reducing the use of alcohol, prescription drugs, marijuana, tobacco, synthetic drugs and other drug use among their peers.

Members learn team-building and positive pro-social skills required for youth advocacy and leadership. LiveFree! club and coalition involvement helps youth build on their existing talents to realize great success for the future. Club members participate in community events, learn about environmental and legislative issues, and work behind the scenes to support projects and initiatives that support a drug-free lifestyle.

Get your child and/or your school involved for the upcoming year!

LiveFree! has wonderful student members and 12 clubs, but we need more. Public and private school clubs are welcome. To get started, contact

LiveFree! clubs are located at Dunedin High School, Pinellas Park High School and the Criminal Justice Academy, Osceola High School, Largo High School, Northeast High School, Largo Middle School, St. James AME Church, Jack and Jill of Pinellas County, Starling School and Daycare, Sumter Home Day Care, McLin LiveFree! and ARTZ4LIFE club.

14 GoodLiving Summer 2013

parent tips During the summer, teens are often less supervised than they are during the school year. Lack of structure and a mindset around having fun can lead to bad choices. According to, in the summer, 38 percent more teens per day try marijuana for the first time. This summer, it’s important to keep an eye on your teen. Try this checklist to get started. Keep your teen busy A teen with nothing to do has more opportunities to go seeking the wrong kinds of fun. Encourage your teen to get involved in camps, volunteering and summer jobs. Set ground rules Curfews and other rules may be more relaxed during the summer, but you still need to establish firm boundaries. Discuss summer rules with your teen early and often. This should include checking in frequently. Don’t allow your teen to try alcohol during the summer or to bend other important rules your family keeps in place during the school year. Summer shouldn’t be a break from safety. Hang out with your teen You’re probably not free during the summer the way your teen is, but you should still involve yourself in your teen’s summer life as much as possible. Make family time and encourage your teen to interact with her siblings and family. Talk about the difficult stuff It may make you uncomfortable to talk about sex, drugs and alcohol with your teen, but it’s important to do so. Many teens believe that accidents, unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections only happen to others. This sense of invincibility can lead teens to engage in risky behaviors.

A Message to Pinellas County Parents from Live Free! The Live Free! Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Pinellas County urges parents to become more aware of the dangers associated with synthetics and/or designer drugs. Children, adolescents and young adults are using these dangerous substances, risking their mental health and well-being. Adults are also using these substances for recreational purposes. As parents, we need you to help us monitor this situation and watch your children and observe their behavior. Some of these items are placed in the front of convenience stores near kid friendly items such as candy. Please call the Florida Poison Information Center, Tampa General Hospital at (800) 222-1222 if you need help for your child or adolescent or need to seek help for another community member. These substances cause aggressive, violent behavior, some impact the central nervous system, are highly addictive, destructive and potentially deadly. We know that you, like us, wish every child a long, healthy and drug-free life. Please contact LiveFree! at to schedule a speaker or go to our website at or follow us on Facebook to keep abreast of this emerging issue. What are Spice and K-2 “Spice” and “K-2” are just two names for products sold as incense that are synthetic or man-made marijuana. There are many product names such as Yucatan Fire, King Krypto, Mr. Nice Guy, K-3, Red Magic, Blueberry Medication and Scooby Snax Potpourri. Herbs like baybean are sprayed with chemicals. Instead of burning the incense as a fragrance, some people smoke it as a drug for a marijuana-like high. Its popularity was due to its former legal status and the fact that the chemicals do not test positive on a THC drug test. Is it illegal to buy or possess? In the USA as of July 2012, most of the common ingredients were illegal to buy, sell or posses. It is scheduled as a Class I drug with penalties similar to marijuana possession. When one ingredient becomes illegal, sellers import another synthetic product with different chemical ingredients to get around the law. It’s sold online and in some convenience stores, making it accessible. That however, doesn’t make it safe. The most common problems identified in hospital cases include agitation, fast heartbeat, vomiting and seizures. The long-term effects are not known, but people have reported psychiatric disturbances for weeks after Spice use. There have been cases of kidney failure and stroke after Spice use.

What are Bath Salts? Bath Salts are a white powder sold in tea-bag size packets labeled Bath Salts, Plant Food or Ant Killer. This is actually a new high, not a toiletry product, and is a man-made chemical version of the khat plant. This type of synthetic drug is called a cathinone substitute and may contain methylone, mephedrone, MDPV, DMAA or 2-DPMP or related ingredients. The crystals may contain the anesthetic lidocaine and other contaminants. They are sold online or in convenience stores. Just because they’re sold over-the-counter does NOT make them safe. There are various brand names: Ivory Wave, Vanilla Sky, Zoom2, Pixie Dust, Sextacy, Ocean Burst, Purple Rain, Hurricane Charlie and many more. The products were rumored to be legal substitutes for cocaine, ecstasy or ritalin. Until recently, the ingredients were legal. In the USA as of July 2012, the most common ingredients for bath salts are illegal to buy, sell or possess. It is scheduled as a Class I drug with penalties similar to marijuana possession. New synthetic chemicals are being created to get around the law. What happens to people abuse bath salts? The nervous system is stimulated, creating a burst of strength along with high blood pressure, fast heart rate, increased alertness, anxiety, fever and muscle cramps. Unlike cocaine, there are frightening delusions, hallucinations and paranoia. There are multiple accounts of people thinking that monsters or policemen are chasing them. This has resulted in combativeness, assaults and suicides. Even small amounts of the drug can cause users to feel out of control and unable to trust people who are trying to care for them. Users have ended up in hospitals sedated heavily and on breathing machines until the agitation and combativeness got under control. Some never recovered and died from the effects of seizures, high fever, heart or kidney damage.

For answers or advice after exposure to a drug, call Florida Poison Information Center’s free hotline 24/7 at 1-800-222-1222 or visit To see the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office PSA on Spice and K2, go to the homepage of

GoodLiving Summer 2013


Meet Dr. Biddleman

Tips for Parents Parents have the power and the responsibility to ask the right questions when it comes to finding the best early learning opportunity for their child. Juvenile Welfare Board shares these tips with local parents.

Do Your Research Find out if a child care provider is sending children to Kindergarten ready to learn at this website: Look for county inspection reports to see any non-compliance or fines at this website: Find out if the child care provider is accredited by a national organization. Providers that are accredited have met voluntary standards for child care above and beyond what is required by licensing. Dr. Marcie Biddleman takes the helm of the Juvenile Welfare Board ( JWB) officially on July 1, 2013, where she will lead the county’s efforts to fund some of the most important programs for children and families. While much of what they do is behind the scenes, make no mistake, there are plenty of good people working hard every day, and Dr. Biddleman is one of them. She came to Pinellas County in 1958 and has seen this county grow and change. Her experience, developed in the Marine Corps, is followed by a string of positions with different social services agencies, including executive director of the St. Petersburg Free Clinic for ten years. While working, she earned a doctorate in organizational management by doing school work between 2 and 6 a.m. “My dad was ‘Mr. Family.’ He instilled core values of family – strong connections, care, safety and having someone to believe in you,” said Biddleman. “You can’t take real risks and succeed if you don’t have strong family support… While this family structure can be different for different people, I want this kind of love and support for every person.” This is a hope she carries into her work and it drives her to do her very best on behalf of the families she serves. According to Biddleman, the JWB is working on some of the key issues that impact success for families. Of those, creating better early learning environments is at the top. She says that it is imperative for our entire community that children be adequately prepared to start Kindergarten, regardless if that preparation comes at home, in a center or through an in-home provider. “Things have changed,” she said, adding that there are more demands in elementary school at a younger age so pre-schoolers must show up ready or they will fall behind and have difficulty catching up. This impacts school graduation rates, a quality workforce and rate of growth of prisons. Important indeed! For more information on quality early learning and other priorities for the JWB, visit their website at

16 GoodLiving Summer 2013

Visit and Ask Questions Before enrolling your child, be sure to visit during school hours and observe the classroom your child would attend. Bring your child with you to see how s/he interacts with the caregiver and the other students. Observe how the caregivers greet and speak with the children. Ask about the caregivers’ training and education. Caregivers with degrees and/or special training are more likely to have the skills and knowledge to help your child develop and grow socially, emotionally and academically. Come back often.

Communication is Key Find out what method is used and how often teachers communicate with parents. Do you receive a daily report? Are the caregivers consistent, so that you see the same people at pick up and drop off? Do they share both good stories and disciplinary issues with you on the same day they occur? Does the center include you in conversations about your child’s behavior, academic progress, health and wellness? Make sure you share important information about your child as well.

Make Sure You’re Comfortable Finding the right Early Learning Center for your child is a critically important decision. You should feel comfortable with where you are sending your child.

Dear Good Living Families, As another successful academic year comes to a close, I think it is appropriate to reflect upon some of the successes we’ve shared as we continue to transform the Pinellas County School District into the best district in the nation. We’ve focused since September on four key areas, which align to our district’s Strategic Plan as outlined below: In the area of Student Achievement, we worked closely with community organizations to create early learning opportunities for families during the school day as well as after school. We created a Jump Start program for rising ninth-graders and expanded guidance opportunities. Additionally, we implemented Secondary Programs of Study, which will assist in three areas: an Advanced Scholar Program of Study, a College Program of Study, and a Technical/College Program of Study. A very exciting initiative has been the development of Summer Bridge, which will engage students in maintaining the momentum for academic achievement throughout the summer. In the area of Curriculum and Instruction, we began expanding elementary and middle school science labs and encouraged the formation of clubs focused on science, technology, engineering and math. We greatly expanded career technical education opportunities. Additionally, we increased our Advanced Placement courses and are proud that our newest International Baccalaureate program located at Largo High School has received full accreditation. In the area of Fiscal Responsibility and Operational Efficiencies, we took a long, hard look at the revenue we receive versus the amount we spend as we began to build our budget for 2013-14. We collaborated with members of the business community to build models that are realistic and sustainable. Of critical importance to us is the Nurturing of a Safe and Caring Environment. We meet regularly with law enforcement agencies, including the Sheriff ’s Office, to discuss ways in which we can collaborate to increase safety measures. As we begin to turn our attention to the 2013-14 school year, we will remain focused on all of these priorities. I am convinced that our teachers and administrators are truly working to foster and maintain an atmosphere of learning and growing. Thank you for everything you do to assist us in attaining that forward momentum.

Tips to Keep Kids Learning during the Summer to Avoid the “Summer Slide” by WENDY SEDLACEK Family and Community Relations Coordinator, Pinellas County Schools

When it comes to your child’s education, the “summer slide” is not something fun that your child wants to do. “Summer slide” refers to the potential loss of up to three months of academic progress that was acquired during the school year. The Summer Slide is similar to what would happen if a child stops practicing his/her favorite sport or music for three months - they lose those skills and wouldn’t play as well. It is the same with education. If skills taught during the school year aren’t practiced during the summer, they will be lost! That is why it is so important to keep your child’s mind engaged during the summer months – especially with reading and math skills.

Here are tips that you can use to help your child avoid the “summer slide”: Read every day. Read books (fiction and non-fiction), magazines, newspapers, or e-books. Have your child read what interests them. They can read silently or out loud. To make it fun, take turns reading out loud with them. Twenty minutes a day will keep their reading skills sharp! Practice math skills. Math can be practiced in many ways. A fun way to integrate math and reading is to cook together. Other ways to keep math skills sharp are to have your child calculate change when something is purchased, go grocery shopping with you and have them read labels for nutritional facts as well as find the best value of an item, and calculate the total bill – don’t forget to subtract the coupons. When eating at restaurants, have your child calculate the tip. Take a vacation and let your child help plan it. They can map out directions, calculate mileage or length of travel. Road trips are a great way to learn about other states. And it is always fun to play the license plate game to see how many license plates from other parts of the country can be spotted. Explore new places close to home. Visit a new park, local museum, zoo or beach.

Sincerely, Michael A. Grego Superintendent, Pinellas County Schools

Learn a “word of the day” to increase their vocabulary. Count how many times each person says the new word during the day. The winner selects the next day’s word! Play games together. Board games, chess, backgammon or cards are all great ways to learn problem solving skills, good sportsmanship, and best of all, they are a wonderful opportunity to have fun with your child!

GoodLiving Summer 2013


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Positive Parenting: Stop Summer Sibling Squabbles by KIRK MARTIN

There are two actors in every sibling drama: the child who provokes and the child who reacts. We tend to spend all of our time getting the provoking child to stop; but the truth is the reacting child is 50% of the problem…and therefore 50% of the solution. S/he is an equal and willing partner in the dynamic. Relationships always take two people, but it only takes one person to break a negative cycle. So how can you help your reacting child break the cycle and create a better sibling relationship?

1. Speak to kids as adults and tell them the hard truth. When we baby a reactive child, we create a victim. “I’m so sorry your brother is irritating. Listen, your childhood is going to be awful until your brother goes off to college. Sorry.” Instead, speak honestly: YOU have a choice in how you respond in this situation. You are going to be annoyed by people your entire life. If all you ever do is react to irritating people, or react to disappointing situations, you are likely to be a miserable, powerless person. That’s your choice. Every time your brother pokes you, calls you a name, takes something from your room or looks at you… and you react to him… you are giving him POWER over your moods, attitude and actions. Do you like being your brother’s puppet? When you react, he is controlling and becoming the boss of you.

and come to you in a mature way, rather than tattling or whining. Show them how to lead rather than react: “I’m not going to react to you, but I will play football with you.” Here’s a great visual prompt. When your kids are squabbling, hold up a Kleenex as a reminder that your child is “surrendering” his power. “Why are you surrendering to your brother?”

3. Teach your kids to demonstrate self-respect. Siblings will keep picking on each other as long as they get the reaction they want. This is what self-respect might look like. “Jason, I know you think you can irritate me and get a reaction from me. I refuse to give you power over my mood and attitude. You DO NOT get to choose that. I do. I have too much self-respect to react to you… just because you look at me, steal something from me or call me a name. So try all you want, but I have too much self-respect to allow you to control me.” Your child can demonstrate leadership by adding, “But if you want to go outside and play football, I WILL do that with you.” Then he can walk away. That is strength and confidence. Take time this summer to teach your kids the most important skill they can develop: the ability to control themselves; not other people.

Now your child may say, “But you don’t know what my brother did.” Your reply should be, “I am NOT interested in what your brother said or did. I am interested in only one thing: what YOU are going to do the next time your brother irritates you?”

2. Teach your child to respond consciously. Now that you’ve created some clarity about the situation, your child may say, “Well, next time I’m going to hit him.” Your response might be: “ You can do that, but it means your brother is controlling you even more. He provokes you, you react by hitting, and that’s the exact moment I walk in the living room and see you retaliating. Now you’re in trouble and your brother is mocking you.”

Try these strategies to help your child focus on a positive response:

About the Author: Founder of, Kirk Martin helps parents stop defiance, disrespect, power struggles and sibling fights with strategies that are concrete, practical and work in everyday situations for toddlers to teens. Sign up for his free newsletter at

Role-play with your kids. Re-create common situations and teach them different ways to respond. Teach them to kill with Kirk is a contributor to, a group of profeskindness—when your brother tries to irritate you, take back control by doing something kind to him. You are Teflon—it doesn’t sionals that help parents dramatically improve life with ADHD bother you! Show your kids how to walk away from their siblings children. Sign up for their newsletter and get the free eBook, ADHD in Reality: Practical Tips FOR Parents FROM Parents. GoodLiving Summer 2013



on the Water by LUCINDA JOHNSTON

The giant cruise ships, tankers, and cargo ships that sail Tampa Bay and the Gulf Coast are the vessels that capture our attention and our imagination. They make us think of faraway places and exotic ports all over the world. But some of the world’s most precious treasures can be found much closer to home right here in the Tampa Bay area. The creeks, inlets, islands and small coves that surround the bay and gulf coasts are some of the most fascinating and scenic places in Florida, and they are ripe for exploration by families in kayaks, canoes or even a sturdy paddleboard.

Special Places Sometimes the names of our most beautiful places aren’t so inviting – like Cockroach Bay, Snake Island, or mud flats – but the names don’t do justice to the beautiful settings and lively creatures that live in them. A quiet cruise through these places puts you close to magnificent bird life, such as ospreys, roseate spoonbills, and more herons, gulls, pelicans and ibis than you can count. You will also see more humble but fascinating sea creatures – like crabs, conchs and oysters. In deeper water, you can watch giant, gentle manatees, big sea turtles and playful dolphins in their natural environment. Accessible, favorite places for family explorations are Upper Tampa Bay Park, Picnic Island Park and Preserve, Fort DeSoto Park and Boca Ciega Millennium Park. Weedon Island is not only an exciting natural environment and beautiful paddling spot, it is also one of the earliest human settlements in the Southeast. Without ever leaving our area, you can sail, paddle or cruise around tropical keys at Caladesi Island and Honeymoon Island State Park. Canoe and kayak rentals are available at Weedon Island and Ft. DeSoto, and you can arrange a kayak tour with certified, kid-friendly guides like Tocobaga Eco Tours in Safety Harbor. Check out the links at the end of this article for more information on these exciting adventures.

Fishing With Kids Nothing is more exciting than catching your own dinner. But fishing often requires patience, usually in short supply for younger children. In order to engage kids in this traditional Gulf Coast activity, make sure you pick a place with plenty of interesting things to see while waiting for a bite. Pier fishing is very popular, not only because many operators provide everything you need, but because the pier is an interesting place to be. Kids can see what other people catch or watch pelicans and ospreys catch their own dinner. The Clearwater Fishing Pier 60 and Redington Long Pier both have pier fishing licenses, so fisher folk don’t need a Florida license – a great way to introduce out-of-state guests to Florida fishing. Other public piers abound in the

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area, although you will need to bring your own equipment and fishing license. Some of the most interesting spots for kids are both a Bay and Gulf side pier at Ft. Desoto Park, the Safety Harbor Pier, Weedon Island Fishing Pier and on the Tampa side, Ballast Point Park. And of course the mother of all fishing piers is the north and south section of the Skyway Pier – a great place to fish in a spectacular setting next to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Learning and Growing Being on or near the water encourages curiosity, physical activity and understanding of the natural world. It can also help kids learn and grow into responsible, compassionate citizens as well. Outstanding, professionally-staffed camps with a Bay and Gulf Coast focus are provided by the Florida Aquarium, the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), Clearwater Marine Aquarium, USF St. Petersburg and Eckerd College. Specialty camps and youth programs cover a range of water activities for kids, too. USF St. Petersburg and the Clearwater Community Sailing Center teach kids how to sail, kayak and paddleboard; the Pinellas Surf Organization teaches kids about surfing and conservation; and kids can learn fishing tips from the pros at St. Petersburg’s Florida Fantasy Fishing Camp. City recreation departments and service groups also offer rich opportunities to learn about the best ways to enjoy our Gulf Coast home as well. Great examples can be found at the local YMCA and the St. Pete Beach Community Center. Kids can also earn service credits for school graduation or just enjoy the satisfaction of volunteering for public service by working with

Resources for Fun on the Water Tampa Bay Area for Nature Lovers A Guide to Natural Areas in the Tampa Bay Region Fishing Piers in the Tampa Bay Area piers.html Pinellas County Parks and Preserves Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Water Safety Tips for Kids and Adults Drowning Prevention Tampa Bay Watch Clearwater Marine Aquarium Florida Aquarium Museum of Science and Industry Chart411, Activities for Kids Pinellas Surf Organization Florida Fantasy Fishing Camp Clearwater Community Sailing Center USF-St. Petersburg Camps & Outdoor Adventures

conservation and sea-animal rehabilitation groups such as Tampa Bay Watch, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the Zoo Crew at Lowry Park Zoo. For a somewhat more rigorous experience that includes military-type training and discipline, check out the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets. Older kids can join the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary as well. The water is not just a spectacular setting for recreation, it’s one of the world’s richest classrooms as well. Summer is the perfect time to combine family play, learning and adventure on the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf Coast. C’mon in! The water’s fine!

Water Safety

Kids and water are usually a great mix, but there are some risks. Be sure you and your kids are well-prepared for safe, responsible fun on the water. • Wear properly-fitted US Coast Guard Approved life jackets (PFD) for all family members. Swim rings, noodles and other water toys NEVER replace a life jacket. Florida law requires children under six to wear a PFD; Coast Guard rules require kids under 13 to wear them. • Never leave kids unsupervised in or around the water. Accidents happen fast, so parents need to stay attentive. This means limiting alcohol consumption while on the water (a good idea anyway). • Have water and boating rules for kids, and make sure you enforce them. Boating requires special precautions, and even pier fishing requires special vigilance because of sharp equipment and the potential for falls. For guidance, see the American Red Cross or Mayo Clinic websites. • Beware of sun exposure, which is magnified by reflection off of the water. Use a high SPF, waterproof sunscreen, and make sure you keep it slathered on yourself and the kids throughout the day. • Make sure everyone in your family can swim for exercise and recreation. It’s not enough to protect them from all accidents, but it helps boost kids’ confidence and sense of security in and around the water. • Learn CPR. Most of us will never need it, but if you do, nothing works better to save a life.

About the Author Lucinda L. Johnston, Executive Director, Chart411. Chart 411 is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting the history, culture, environment and economy of the Gulf of Mexico. Contact the author at

Summer Watersports Camp at Eckerd College

GoodLiving Summer 2013


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GoodLiving Summer 2013


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eating Summer Recipes for the Cookout Create a new summer cookout menu or choose one to take as a dish. These tasty summer recipes are courtesy of the food bloggers who work with GoodLiving food contributor Isabel Laessig, of the Family

Green Pea Salad with Leeks, Bacon and Goat Cheese Ingredients 3 oz goat cheese 1 leek, cut into thin half moons, stems removed and washed thoroughly 1 tsp dried shallots (or 2 fresh cloves, minced) 4-5 slices bacon 1/4 c. sun dried tomatoes, julienned 1 package frozen peas 1/2 teaspoon fresh dill 1 tablespoon lemon juice Olive oil Salt and pepper


Basil Strawberry Lemonade Granitas Makes 10 individual granitas

Ingredients 1 cup sugar 1 handful fresh basil leaves 1 cup water 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced Juice and ďŹ nely grated zest of 2 lemons

Instructions Combine the sugar and basil leaves with the water in a mediumsize saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool. When the simple syrup mixture is cool, remove and discard the basil leaves. Combine the strawberries, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth. Pour the cooled simple syrup into the strawberry mixture and blend well. Fill ten 8-ounce jars three-quarters full with the strawberry mixture. Cover loosely and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Scrape down the edges of the jars with a fork and stir the scrapings into the centers. Return the jars to the freezer for 90 minutes, and scrape them down again. Freeze for an additional 3 hours until frozen through. When you are ready to serve, use a fork to stir the granita mixture one more time. Serve ice cold. from Shaina Olmanson, author of Desserts in Jars

26 GoodLiving Summer 2013

Saute the leeks in olive oil in a skillet until soft and caramelized. Salt to taste, and add in the shallots the last few minutes to soften. In the meantime, microwave the bacon until crisp and set aside. Cook the frozen peas according to the package directions, drain out any water. In a large bowl add in the sauteed leeks and shallots, the cooked bacon (crumbled), peas, sun dried tomatoes, fresh dill and lemon juice. Salt and pepper as needed. Gently stir in the goat cheese until melted. Serve warm or cold. Add extra chunks of goat cheese on top as desired. from

eating Marinated Shrimp & Artichokes Ingredients ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp chopped parsley 2 tbsp chopped green onion .75 oz envelope garlic and herb dressing mix 1 lb peeled and deveined cooked shrimp 14 oz can quartered artichoke hearts, drained ½ cup kalamata olives 1 cup halved grape tomatoes 4 oz block of feta cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes Fresh basil, chopped


Patriotic Ranch Potato Salad Ingredients 2 - 3 pounds potatoes: baby yukon gold or white, red and purple potatoes, cubed but not peeled (look for them at Publix) 3 green onions, chopped 3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt 1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk 2 tbsp parsley juice from one lemon salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together balsamic, parsley, green onion, and herb dressing mix. Toss with cooked shrimp, artichoke hearts, olives, and tomatoes. Allow to marinate 8-24 hours. Right before serving toss with cubed feta and a few tablespoons of basil. from Lane Richeson,

Instructions Cook potatoes until fork tender, then drain and place into a bowl. Mix together all other ingredients and pour over the potatoes; stir gently to coat. Chill until served from Blueberries and Blessings

Fruit Salad with Mojito Dressing Ingredients 4 peaches, cut into 1 inch pieces 1 pint blueberries 1 pint raspberries 3 tbsp. honey 1 tbsp. lime juice 1 tbsp. rum (optional) 5 fresh mint leaves, minced

Instructions In a large bowl, combine the peaches, blueberries and raspberries. Toss to combine. In a small bowl mix together the honey, lime juice, rum (if using) and mint leaves. Give it a quick taste and add more honey or juice as needed. Pour the dressing over the fruit and refrigerate atleast an hour before serving, store in the refrigerator. Give it a stir to coat the fruit in the dressing before serving. Garnish with a few fresh mint leaves. from Heather King,

The Best Grilled Chicken Ever Ingredients 4-5 pounds chicken pieces, trimmed of excess fat, skin left on For The Dry Rub / Grill Seasoning: 3 tbsp chili powder 3 tbsp black pepper 2 tbsp salt 3 tbsp oregano 1 1/2 tbsp thyme 2 tbsp garlic powder 3 tbsp onion powder 1 1/2 tbsp cumin 2 tbsp parsley

Instructions Mix all spices/seasonings together in a bowl or jar until well combined. Liberally rub each piece of chicken on all sides with spices. Place chicken pieces in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet and allow to rest for 1-2 hours. Place chicken on grill on low for 75-90 minutes, or until the internal temperature of your thickest pieces reaches 165 degrees (be sure to turn each piece over 1-2 times during cooking). from Blueberries and Blessings GoodLiving Summer 2013



Food Bits

Mom & Me Cookoff

Fit 4 All Kids held its annual Mom and Me Cookoff, May 11th, at the Lealman Fire Station. GoodLiving editor, Pam Settle and her son Jackson won top prize for their heart healthy recipe. “The food was a salute to seasoning to show that healthy food can be full of flavor. Many herbs and spices are good for you, so you get a health benefit and zingy tastebuds.” Mom and child teams cooked their recipes in electric skillets and were judged by the firemen. “They were particularly partial to the hot sauce for the salmon and the heartiness of the dish. It’s very quick and easy to make, too,” she said.

Rice and Beans 1 large can black beans 2 bags of Uncle Bens precooked brown rice 1 can of petite diced tomatoes Coconut oil 3-5 cloves of fresh chopped garlic 1 Tbsp cumin 1 Tbsp chili powder Drain and rinse the beans. Drain tomatoes but keep the juice. Add water if needed to make 1 cup.

Rethink Your Drink

for Chipotle sauce dip: In a blender, combine one small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, 1-2 tsp chili powder, 4 cloves of minced garlic and lime juice to taste.

One of the single greatest things you can do for your nutrition health is to replace your daily beverages – soda, diet soda, juices, coffee drinks, zero calorie drinks, vitamin drinks, flavored milks, energy drinks and juice drinks with WATER. Flavor that water with some fresh fruit, lemons, cucumbers or mint. For variety, make a little green tea sweetened with some honey and pour it into cold water. The empty calories, the high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, other stimulants and artificial sweeteners are damaging in so many ways. It is possible, and relatively easy, to make this change and you’ll be surprised at how many calories you eliminate from your weekly intake. has recipes for making sparkling water flavored with homemade fruit syrups as well as other ways to flavor water so you don’t miss the soda and juice.

Target is on Target!

A March for Clean Food

Target stores are adding more organic and GMO-free food products through a new brand called, Simply Balanced, which will eventually include about 250 products over the next five months. Target says it will eliminate all genetically modified ingredients from the line by the end of 2014. The reason is that organic food sales are growing twice as fast as conventional foods. The lesson here is that consumers DO drive the supply. If we demand organic and non-GMO by buying more of those products, the stores will respond with supply.

On May 25th, millions of activists around the world rallied against Monsanto, the biotechnology giant, for genetically engineering agriculture and food while suppressing negative scientific research. Organized by the March Against Monsanto movement, the protest crossed the continents, including one right here in St. Petersburg. Organizers say they will continue until Monsanto complies with consumer demand, adding that GMOs are poisoning our children and the planet.

Coat bottom of pan with oil, add garlic to brown lightly. Add beans, dry seasoning (you can double for more flavor) and tomato juice. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook until warmed through. Add tomatoes, stir and serve hot. Top with sour cream or cheese, if desired.

Mexican Salmon with Chipotle sauce for Salmon: Rinse and dry salmon fillets. Drizzle fresh lime juice on the top side. Coat with rub (equal parts cumin, garlic powder and chili powder). Fry in coconut oil starting with the skin side down (about 3 to 5 minutes each side depending on thickness). Top with a little more lime juice.

28 GoodLiving Summer 2013

above-ground pool; the pool he was afraid of. He somehow pulled himself up, leaned over the edge, and fell in. It is believed he was trying to imitate the dog drinking from the pool. It was quick and quiet. He was in the pool less than 5 minutes. I came home just moments after my son was rushed to the hospital. They were never able to revive him. I didn’t know how I was supposed to go on without my little boy. It was impossible. Yet I had to. I knew I had a choice; I could become bitter or I could become better. I strive every day to be better. I have had dark moments of bittern bitterness, but I do my best to be better.

My Story

A large piece of my heart was ripped out that day. A large piece of me died the day my little boy died. In spite of the intense grief and shock, I was determined to keep my marriage together. And I was determined to do whatever I could, to prevent this from happening to other families. I thought that only parents who by JENNA DEVITO-ROISUM didn’t pay attention had children who drowned. I thought that we would hear splashing or cries for help if one of our children We welcomed little Mason Alexander to the world September 7, 2006. fell into the pool. I thought it took minutes for a child to drown. He was perfect, so beautiful; a spitting image of his father. None of the above is true. Drowning is deadly silent and very I spent the next two and a half years watching this amazing little quick, and it can and does happen to anybody. boy grow. Mason was my world; my everything. And I know he My husband and I are still together and have started a foundation was my husband’s world, as well. I loved watching “me and mini in memory of our son. I am currently training to become a swim me” traipsing through the back yard, planting flowers or raking instructor. My daughter is 4, and such a beautiful spirit; our little the leaves. Mason was so very smart. So focused and determined; butterfly. We are so blessed, but still, I miss my little boy every day. our little scientist. He loved collecting rocks and acorns. He loved playing with his cars and trucks. His best friends were a plush chicken he called Dee Dee, and our dog, Otis. The first thing most people said to me about him was, “Look at that hair!”(His hair was white, not blond). The second thing they would say was, “He is so gentle.” And he was. And I was happy. My son’s peaceful spirit was contagious. I had become very peaceful. We learned we were pregnant with our beautiful little girl, Avery, when Mason was about 18 months old. Usually in life, the events that take place gradually shape us – in much the way a river shapes a canyon; one day you look back and realize that you are not the same person you were a year or two ago. Sometimes, however, there are events that shake you to the core – you are instantly transformed and will never be the person you used to be. In the blink of an eye, everything changes. For me, March 27, 2009 is that day. It was a typical Friday. Avery was sleeping, and Mason was eating lunch when my husband came home. I kissed Mason goodbye – giving him a big hug. I turned one last time at the door to wave goodbye and blow a kiss. I left for work. That is the last time I would ever see my beautiful little boy alive. Around 5:00 that evening, my husband, Mason and the dog were playing in the backyard. Avery woke up from her third nap of the day, and the three went in to get her. My husband uncharacteristically forgot to close the back door as well as the inside safety gate. Paul went in to get the baby, Mason in tow. At some point Mason apparently followed the dog back outside. For reasons unknown, Mason went over to the partially inset

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Jenna, who is from Seminole, started Mason’s Gift, a foundation in her son’s name that has a mission to educate other parents about the dangers of drowning. Funds raised provide educational materials at community events, scholarships for swim lessons and one day, water safety days for local families. More about Mason’s story is on the website at His parents share the exact proactive precautions and layers of protection they put in place to prevent this tragedy. Their hope is that other parents can learn from this to see that no child is ever safe.

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