I’m writing in response to the April 15 article “ ‘Mindful’ program for Plain’s students is halted.”
Mindfulness has been defined as “paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, nonjudgmentally.”
In October 2012, I organized an Interfaith Mindfulness Workshop, held at Beth El Congregation in Akron.
There was an overwhelmingly favorable response to the workshop, which drew people from across Northeast Ohio, as well as from Michigan and Pennsylvania. Among those in attendance were Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, agnostics, atheists and others.
Mindfulness helps us deal with everyday challenges, as it quiets our minds, reduces stress and enables us to be more thoughtful.
In A Mindful Nation, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan writes about successful mindfulness programs being implemented throughout the United States.
He states, “With mindfulness, we can teach them (kids) how to pay attention.”
Ryan also writes that “several organizations around the country have developed curricula for teaching mindfulness and what is called Social and Emotional Learning.”
As an example, Goldie Hawn’s Hawn Foundation “developed a detailed curriculum called MindUP … (which) is now training teachers and staff in schools and youth service organizations, like the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Clubs in 12 states,” as well as in other countries.
Mindfulness has the capability to help students, teachers and parents.
By enhancing our human capacity for empathy, compassion, kindness and civility, mindfulness has the power to transform individuals, institutions and society.
Principal Jody Ditcher was quoted as saying that mindfulness helped boost the school’s performance index on the state report cards. “I can’t imagine running a school without it,” she said.
I hope the students at Warstler Elementary will have the opportunity to learn about, and reap continued benefits from a mindfulness practice.
Who does Sen. Rob Portman represent? The murderer who blew first graders to bits at Newtown?
The National Rifle Association?
He doesn’t represent me.
Does he represent you?
He is up for re-election in 2016.
I won’t forget.
Clair E. Dickinson
Demolishing Voris school
I am saddened, angered, disappointed and frustrated that my childhood elementary school, the old Voris, has been demolished.
Destroyed is more accurate. The building and everything inside was reduced to a pile of bricks, mortar, lockers, blackboards, pencil sharpeners, coat hooks, lights, projectors, maps, marble and porcelain, and carelessly hauled to a landfill.
That’s not to mention laughter, tears and years of memories.
Where was the compassion of the Akron Public Schools for all the past students, parents and teachers? Where was the final walk-through to say our final farewell?
There was plenty of time to have a farewell ceremony, had anyone taken a moment, when we first learned of the demolition, to show an ounce of compassion.
We were all shown nothing but blatant disregard. We are hurt. We feel cheated.
Where was the frugality on the part of the district? Everything inside the school is gone, none of it offered to the community as mementos, or auctioned off to raise money.
In a time of being “green” and recycling, where was the Akron Public Schools?
All good things must come to an end, I know. But the unprofessional way in which the demolition of Voris has been handled is inexcusable.
I no longer live in Ohio, but I will hold close to my heart all my memories of dear old Voris. No one can demolish or destroy them.
The Akron Public Schools will not have the full support of its constituents the next time a school levy is up for a vote. It has no one to blame but itself.
Susan (Susie Adams) Hintz
Hidden tax at higher speed
On July 1, our state representatives are raising the speed limit on rural interstate highways to 70 mph.
Surely, they have traveled those highways and know that the majority of the traffic is already moving at speeds of 70 mph and faster.
So, they also know that by increasing the speed limit, the majority of motorists will drive at speeds even faster, maybe 80 mph to 95 mph.
Obviously, their motive is not to reduce the number of fatal traffic accidents, since speed kills.
That leaves only one other reason, and that is tax money.
Most speeders do not realize that by driving at speeds greater than 55 mph or 60 mph, their cars use more gasoline than needed and their gas mileage per gallon is reduced.
Because the state taxes each gallon of gasoline, the higher speeds bring in more tax money.
Increasing our income tax is politically unsound, but bringing in more in gasoline taxes is acceptable.
Don’t we have smart politicians in Columbus?
Ignoring the wishes of the majority
“Shame on you,” one of the victims of last year’s Phoenix shooting shouted at senators after their vote against a bill that would have mandated background checks for gun buyers at gun shows, thereby allowing felons, convicted spousal abusers and mentally unbalanced people to purchase firearms.
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman was one of those senators who deserves the victim’s condemnation.
I wonder how Portman will explain his vote when the next felon, spouse abuser or mentally ill person commits a horrible slaughter?
Will he say, “I am sorry”?
It took Portman’s acknowledgement of his son’s sexual orientation for him to change his views about same-sex marriage.
It seems to be the case that the senator’s ability to cast a sensible vote is limited only to his personal, family experience.
Too bad Portman cannot expand this personal outlook to include the experience and the wishes of the majority of the constituents he was elected to serve.
Too bad that he is willing to trade the wishes of the majority of Ohioans for the campaign money offered him by the National Rifle Association. Shame on Sen. Portman.
Standing with the criminals
Background checks are good but don’t go far enough. We need gun registration.
I would think that everyone has a list of guns they own, with make, model, price and serial number.
I don’t see why gun owners would oppose a U.S. database. Cars and boats are titled. Why not guns?
The National Rifle Association and spineless politicians are standing on the side of criminals and terrorists. If the politicians are so scared that the NRA will have them voted out, then, by all means, voters should make sure these politicians never serve again.
I would hope that the NRA members would drop out of this evil group, represented by executive vice president Wayne LaPierre.
Since there seems to be many NRA members who are more sane and for background checks and gun control, let them show their backbone and start a new association that has some rational thinkers
Let us all remember the party that shot down the gun-control bill.
License to mow lawns
Bob Dyer’s column on Thursday hit one of my triggers (“Time again to cut grass, clog streets”). I am a safety engineer, and this subject gets me going.
Besides the items mentioned by Dyer and his reader, service providers park on the “No Parking” side of the street because “that’s where the property is.”
Excuse me, it’s a “No Parking” zone. Looking way ahead, in the fall lawn service companies blow the leaves into the street way before the leaf pickup is scheduled.
Some streets are so narrowed by this that they become single-lane streets.
I hope no child is ever playing in one of those piles of leaves and gets hit by a vehicle.
This is why I think that any lawn maintenance firm that operates in Akron (other cities and towns can follow suit if they wish) should be required to obtain a license (for free or a nominal sum) that provides a mailing address for the firm.
That way, notices about leaf pickup regulations and any other reminders about traffic procedures can be mailed to the company.
Then they should be fined if they don’t follow the rules!