Monday, November 29, 2004

Bike Path Initiative an Opportunity for Owensboro

We haven't seen a shortage of discussion and awareness of the problems our community has in terms of health status. It has become a vernacular that many of us has become too accustomed to understanding: cancer, obesity, overweight, heart disease, and the litany of terms and terminology goes on. Our community and our state are particularly very very unhealthy.

We have done a good job of documenting it locally, from the All is Not Well research report commissioned by the Public Life Foundation to the GRADD Health Report Card completed by the GRADD Health Council, we know we are unhealthy. Contrary to people's wishes, we are not unhealthy by chance. It has a whole lot to do with what we choose to do, or not to do that makes us healthy or unhealthy.

At the same time, we have made strides in affecting this crisis situation in our community. American Council for Fitness and Nutrition Chairperson Susan Finn's comments echo the successes that we have had. We also continue to see some degree of movement on the state front, as is indicated by how elected officials were cited in the Messenger Inquirer of the need for healthy lifestyles.

At the beginning of 2005, we will have yet another opportunity to change our community for the better. Stay tuned for more from the City Connections bikepaths initiative that soon will pick up steam.

Want to be part of the solution? Get up to speed and get an idea of what the City Connections committee has been working on by going here. Then, stay tuned and let the community leaders know where you stand on improving the health status of our citizens with the assistance of a community that provides opportunities for citizens to improve their health and lifestyle.

The difficult, sometimes depressing, or the wonderful, sometimes extra special, "thing" about the holiday season is the coming together of family and friends.  It is that time of year that those that do come together arrive at the occasion or occasions with all that they are.  They bring their up-to-date hearsays, their laden drenched gossip personas from the year before, they bring their baggage of life's trials and tribulations, and they bring their willingness to toss everything up in the air in the family/friend focused deliberation of "the coming together". 

For me what is central to the holiday season being successful is the "feel" or perception of feeling that I take away from each of these events.  Did everyone pitch in their part?  Did everyone sacrifice enough of themselves to benefit the goodwill of the whole?  Did everyone come away with a sense of fulfillment of interacting with others?  Did everyone take away from the occasion that they played an important part in the enrichment in the lives of others present, or at least enough of the others present to "feel" justified in attending?  Certainly family and friends understand that the "coming together" takes on a life of it's own.  Sometimes we as individuals though certainly do not recognize this, and worse still is that we do understand it and do our damndest to brink our link in that chain that strives to hold it together.

Oh what a dilemma…..dare I say, what if instead of coming together, all of the baggage and excess immaterial objects land dead center in the nucleus of coming together?  Uuuuuggghhhhh, that could be icky….

Hmmmm……I'm not taking away a sense of fulfillment of at least the Thanksgiving holiday season, other than the entirely too many pieces of pecan pie that I ate...

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Mexico: Development and Gender Equality

Diego Cevallos

MEXICO CITY, (IPS) - Latin America and the Caribbean have up-to-date statistics on inflation, trade, GDP growth and other economic indicators. But there are few to no hard figures on violence against women, a problem that reportedly affects as many as four or five women out of 10 in the region. Click here to read more...

Sustainable Growth and International Economy: Trinidad Seeks an Alternative Economic Fuel

By Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writer

POINT LISAS, Trinidad and Tobago — Half a millennium ago, Spanish colonialists put this tiny Caribbean land on the international trade map by putting the indigenous Amerindians to work growing cocoa. Click here to read more...

Population and the Environment: Study Links Smog Increases to Urban U.S. Deaths

By Michael Conlon

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Increases in air pollution caused by cars, power plants and industry can be directly linked to higher death rates in U.S. cities, a study said on Tuesday. Click here to read more...

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Hey everybody (Bret and Jen, we miss you!)! Have a Happy Thanksgiving and holiday season!

Alexis DeTocqueville: Democracy in America

I came across this website as a link in the book homepage of one of my sociology courses. I have worked with colleagues in the community and on various projects related to civic involvement. DeTocqueville provides keen qualitative insight on democracy in the United States on what has been termed the "Bible of Democracy". DeTocqueville has been classified as a political scientist, social philosopher, sociologist, historian, and field researcher. Don't know about DeTocqueville? Maybe you could take a moment to get introduced to him and his work....Click here to visit the site