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Getting Kids Active In The Outdoors

November 4, 2011

Computers and video games are turning our kids brains into a fine paste. Have you ever seen two kids sitting next to each other texting one another? Is there a point to that? Why is it that kids will spend six hours inside playing a video game of golf, but when you suggest they actually go out and play golf they look at you as if you swung at them with a nine iron? You’ve got to find some way to get your kids outside during the day and out in parks, where other kids are – well a few other kids. You know how I get my kids outside? I run an Orienteering event that kids out and running in the outdoors.  What a great feeling to see adults and kids enjoying a day in the woods.  If it is not at an Orienteering event, we go out and do Geocaching!

There are easier ways to get your kids to go outside in the sunshine to prevent them from Vampire complexion.

  • Discipline – You’ve got to set limits on how long is acceptable to play mindless video as a form of relaxation. Give them a few hours  of video games and then take the system away if you have to. Lock it up somewhere so they can’t get at it until the little junkies are allowed their next fix.
  • Outside Time – When I was young, if I didn’t have a job my mom used to tell me I had to be out of the house for 8 hours a day. I could come back when that 8 hours was up. You can use the same principle, but not so extreme. Make it a rule that your kids have to be out of the house in the sunshine for 2 hours every day doing something active. Of course, be sure they tell you where they are going so you can keep tabs on them.
  • Go Along – The older kids get, the less they like you tagging along with them, but if they’re young they won’t mind. Go along for a trip to public parks or water parks where they can actually socialize with something other than a machine. They’ll get to meet new friends and talk about how horrible it is that they have to play in the sunshine. They’ll have lots in common.
  • Positive Reinforcement – Studies have shown that positive reinforcement is much better at producing results than negative reinforcement. Actually, random reinforcement like gambling produces the best results, but we’re not going to go there. Instead of punishing your kids for playing video games too long or watching too much television, after they have played outside for 2 or 3 hours, reward them with a half hour or an hour of video games. Trust me, it’ll work better than you think. Eventually, they’ll just go outside to play because they know when they get back ‘Blood Gushers Apocalypse’ will be waiting for them when they get back. Well, maybe not that game.

Exercise for kids is so important in their younger years because it is a habit that’s going to transfer into their adult lives. Give these few tips a shot and see what happens. See what works best for your kids. Get creative and learn to cater to their personalities. You’ll get the hang of it.

Time is getting close to Vote!!

October 21, 2011

Voting On Election Day-  Exactly where Do I Go To Cast My Ballot

Your ability to vote in elections is one of the greatest freedoms that we have in this country, and choosing public representatives from a list of candidates on the ballot and constitutional  amendments is some thing that not every single citizen within the world has the luxury of performing. If you are not a registered voter and are old enough to do so, then you ought to make a point of making your voice heard by taking part in nearby elections.

For individuals who are new to voting, nonetheless, the approach of registering and then obtaining the polling place where you’ll want to cast your ballot on election day may possibly be a bit confusing. Luckily, almost each and every state within the union has made it really simple for you to register to vote, and you ought to have no trouble performing it so long as you might be at the least 18 years of age and you might be not a convicted felon.

The truth is, in most states it is as simple as going to your nearby DMV or bureau of motor vehicles to obtain a voter registration card to fill out. Take care, although, you are just not allowed to register to vote on election day. There’s generally a cut-off point for new registrations that is many weeks or months before election day, depending on exactly where you live.

You’ll find typically two different ways that you simply will probably be in a position to cast your vote on election day: either by way of the mail in what exactly is known as “absentee” or “provisional “voting, or by going to your local polling place to cast your vote in individual. To discover exactly where your nearby voting poll location is, contact your county board of elections, city hall or one more entity with political details.

In most instances, your voting location will most likely be located at a church, school, recreation centre or other public venue. Following you’ve cast your vote, tell the rest of the world how proud you might be for having taken component in such an excellent privilege by wearing an “I Voted” sticker or bragging about it on social media websites. You’ll be creating our country an even greater location to live for future generations! 


What would Shakespeare Do?

July 26, 2011

With Borders closing, it seems that EBooks and Audiobooks are now a trend in our society. Using EBooks and audiobooks seems to an interesting thing now a days with all the E-readers on the market. ( I have been looking at two for a very long time). And with super phones, audio players and different listening devices, audiobooks seem to be growing. And I must amit, I have several audiobooks on my IPhone to listen to while driving between Weatherford, Fort Worth and Dallas each week

Reading can expose you to new ideas, give you some more topics to discuss with your friends, enhance your skills and develop your cognitive functioning. Studies show that adults can improve cognitive functioning by remaining active, physically and mentally, through activities such as reading, writing and cognitive training.

I trend to like audiobooks. Why? Audiobooks are very good option in utilizing time as listening to while driving your car or being stuck in the traffic jams. You can also listen to them when taking a night walk or doing your exercise and fitness. It is not the way we traditionally used to reading books but it can also be an exciting way to learn.

Now why am I asking or even talking about this. I would like to see the Mineral Wells Library to start investing in both these kinds of materails. But, are the citizens of Mineral Wells interested? Would you read more or listen more to books if these options where avaiable?

Using EBooks and audiobooks is a way for the library to save money and provide an in-demand service. I currently use the Weatherford Library for most of my audiobooks. I also use EBooks to downloaded recipe books on my Iphone and read them for shopping and cooking.

Because the eBooks and audiobooks don’t take up shelf space and don’t require labeling or shuttling from one library to another, there are man-hours and book wear-and-tear could be minimized. Plus people now have access to titles outside of normal library hours.

So, my question. Would you use this service from the Library to obtain EBbooks and audiobooks?

Let’s Clean Up Mineral Wells!!!

July 12, 2011

Most residents of the City of Mineral Wells  genuinely care about having a clean-looking city.  Keeping our City clean is every citizens duty.  However, this  service is costly and time-consuming for the City.

As promised, here is the current list of items being worked by the Code Enforcement Department of Mineral Wells.  Tell me how offen you would like to see this report.  At the moment, I plan on updating on a monthly basis just after the Planning and Zoning meeting.

Please review this list and see what is being worked in your area. (There are 4 separate pages for each section of the City)

 Planning and Zoning Caseload

I am commited to getting Mineral Wells cleaned up with the help of everyone that reads my blog.

If you have an area that you are concerned about, please email me at wright.clif@gmail.com  and if possible include pictures.  I need the address or at least the cross streets so that it can be report correctly.  Once I know the address, I can also notify the Councilman in that area so that they are aware of the problem.( If you know the Ward, that would be great)  They work for us…and need to know your concerns.  EMAIL them!!! (and if you email your Councilman, copy me so that I can track the progress)

During the last 3 months, I have been working with the City in understanding how the process works in getting things done in the area of code enforcement.  I can tell you that I have had three properties that I was concerned about and have gotten the problems resolved or is in the process.  For example, SW 23rd St and SW 10th Ave. is in need of cleaning up for saftey reasons.  Code Enforement did a visit of the area, agreed with me and now there is a workorder to correct the problem. 

 Also, if you have a property that you have reported, let me know, and I will check on the status to see what the final outcome was on the complain.

If the Code Enforcement team has never been notified, then they can not solve the problem.  They investiagate complains, and if no one reports the problem, they do not know there is a problem.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Clif

Can You Hear Me NOW!!!

July 9, 2011

Many government meetings are open to the public and reserve a “public comment” time for citizen commentary on issues. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals explained in its 1990 decision White v. City of Norwalk: “Citizens have an enormous First Amendment interest in directing speech about public issues to those who govern their city.” These meetings, particularly the “public comment” period, are at the very least a limited public forum during which free-speech rights receive heightened protection.

One thing I would like to see added to the Mineral Wells Agenda is the opportunity for the Citizens to speak to their representative.  What I am talking about is the ability for CITIZENS TO COMMENT ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS.  Most cities have this item at the top of their Agenda. 

The most basic and fundamental rights of any person in the United States – the right to petition the government for redress of grievances.

Freedom of speech is so vitally important that our Founding Father’s placed it the top of the priority list with religion in the Bill of Rights  and was added as the First Amendment of the Constitution on December 15, 1791 which states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and petition the Government for redress of grievances.”

I will continue to speak out and demand that the City Council be accountable and responsible to the needs of its citizens and always provide an open forum by which healthy debate and discourse be afforded to all and whether or not the message is pallitable or not.

What I would like to see is a permanent agenda item for Public Comment on Non-Agenda items.  The following would be added so that everyone knows the rules:

Residents may address the Council regarding an item that is not listed on the agenda. Residents must provide their name and address. The Council requests that comments be limited to three (3) minutes. The Texas Open Meetings Act provides the following:
(a) If, at a meeting of a governmental body, a member of the public or of the governmental body inquires about a subject for which notice has not been
given as required by this subchapter, the notice provisions of this subchapter do not apply to:
       (1) A statement of specific factual information given in response to the inquiry; or
       (2) A recitation of existing policy in response to the inquiry.
(b) Any deliberation of or decision about the subject of the inquiry shall be limited to a proposal to place the subject on the agenda for a subsequent meeting.

Please contact your Councilman and tell them you would like to have this item placed on the agenda.  This gives you the opportunity to speak and be heard without having to wait to be placed on the agenda or go through a gatekeeper to approve what you want to say.

I may not necessarily agree with what you have to say, but I will defend your right to say it.

What I would like to see from the City Council!

June 17, 2011

By starting this blog, I wanted to find a way to help improve Mineral Wells.  What I would like to see from the City Council Members is to start asking questions of citizens as to what is the issues they feel need to be addressed. From their comments, actions can be taken.  There is some concern about the lack of transparency in our city government. When I asked for the ability for the Citizens to be able to speak before the City Council, it was not well recieved.  In many other communities, there is an agenda item whereby anyone can speak before the City Council about ANY TOPIC with a time limit.

People need to express their opinion. Got a complaint; let the City Council know so they can understand the problem. Got an idea to improve Mineral Wells; let the City Council know.  If you want to tell a story on how helpful the City employees are; let them know.   At least, the City Council members can hear from the citizens of Mineral Wells.  Of course, since this is not an Agenda item, the members CAN NOT respond to the comments, but that is OK at least the comment is expressed.  If further action is required, then it can be placed on the agenda.  The City Council Members need to be aware that they work for the Citizens of Mineral Wells;therefore, they must insure the citizens feel they are represented and heard, and this is the action they must take first.   I do not see that happening and so does many other people I have talked to about the lack of involvement by City Council members.  Many people are scared to express their opinon as they feel they will be retaliated against. 

We need community involvement, people need to attend the City Council meetings and speak to their representative either before the meeting, during the meeting or after the meeting.  The City Council Members need to be willing to listen, must go into the audiance and meet and shakehands with people attending the City Council meeting and thank them for attending,  and not be in a hurry to leave City Hall.

I would like to see the City Council Members have neigbhor meetings monthly or semi-monthly or quarterly meetings.  Yet, when I express this idea the response is that “I have a job and unable to do this” or “Why? No one will come” or “I do not have time for extra meetings”.  This would be a great way to get the views of the people…GO TO THEM!!!

Development to a city is like employment to a household. You need it to insure long term financial stability. We need to continue on the path of attracting new development. When you look at the number of new companies and businesses that have come to Mineral Wells  in previous years its disencouraging. We need to focus on working with the Chamber of Commerce, the Mineral Wells School district, and the City Council Members need to make calls and get involved  to create a magnet to draw more companies to our  city.

Call your City Councilman and get them to work for you and if they don’t…Make your voice heard by voting in someone who will work to improve the City of Mineral Wells.

Today is a day for patriotism and a beautiful day to put out your flag.

June 14, 2011

There is nothing more inspiring than to watch the U.S. flag snapping in the wind. Yet, I drove up US 281 and only saw the Flag at the City services barn. I drove up and down US 180 and saw very few flags being displayed. Today was Flag Day, READ about it here June 14th is Flag Day, yet very few people care.

Flag Day is the day when all Americans should celebrate and show respect for their nation’s flag and commemorate its adoption. On June 14, 1777 that the Continental Congress replaced the British symbols of the Grand Union flag with a new design featuring stars and stripes.

It is shameful that Flag Day gets so little notice, for doesn’t the flag represent this nation’s independence and its unity as a nation? It should also be a time for Americans to reaffirm their loyalty to nation and their belief in liberty and justice. Our Flag has a long and proud History. Just think about the number of people that have died protecting the American Flag. We see all the time how people do not respect our flag and treat it was disrespect.

The American flag is a representation of not only the freedom our country possesses as a whole, but also the freedom bestowed to each individual.

By the way…. do you know who William Driver is?

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