A group of community leaders joined us at the offices of The Star yesterday afternoon to discuss next steps in the Our Big Problem series on obesity. We had a fast-paced hour discussing ways our community can wrestle with the frightening statistics that show Alabama is among the fattest states in the union. (And, yes, as our reporting has shown, the impact of this epidemic has huge implications for everyone, even the fittest among us.)
One big idea to address Our Big Problem is a competition pitting young people from various community centers, clubs, churches and so forth against each other. The aim is to make fitness fun by competition and encouragement. In broad strokes, the highlights include:
-- Competitors would compete against other teams in a series of athletic contests.
-- Prizes would go to the top finishers as well as those kids who showed the most improvement.
--- The event might be best compared to a big “field day” where multiple events would be happening at the same time.
-- Incentives – prizes, special events, special recognition – would be available for winning teams and individuals.
-- Our aim is to make this a fun event where boys and girls can encourage each other to get healthier.
So, that’s what’s on the drawing board. We talking about an annual or twice-a-year competition, perhaps hosted at McClellan, which has facilities for multiple athletic events.
Now it’s your turn to weigh in.
What do you think of this idea?
How can we make it better?
What athletic events would you suggest be a part of this competition? What about X-Games-styled events?
All ideas welcome.
At first I was thrown. I could find no reference to the politician in the June 14 issue of The Star. A little searching helped me realize the error was from my column published on June 14 of 2009. My mistake. The online version of the column has been amended. It's never too late to set the record straight. You can read it here. I'm happy to issue a correction ... three years late.
The editorial – Our neck of the woods: Consider Talladega National Forest off-limits to drilling for oil, gas - contained this sentence: “Three Republicans — County Commissioner Tim Hodges, state Rep. Randy Wood and U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers — each have voiced strong opposition to drilling for fossil fuels in our national forest. Rogers was wise to request, in writing, that the BLM delay the auction.”
That’s not accurate, writes Shea Snider, spokeswoman for Rep. Rogers. Her email notes:
The above sentence “doesn’t accurately reflect Congressman Rogers’s statements on the issue. Rogers has never referenced drilling in the Talladega National Forest.
“What he has said is that he is vehemently opposed to allowing the leases to go forward, as he has said repeatedly and in public, because of the way BLM kept the public, local officials and his office in the dark. That’s why he has asked for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to delay the lease sales, reopen the public comment period and hold public meetings as they should have done from the beginning. Something this important needs thorough public discussion and debate; the people deserve to know what is going on.”
WEDNESDAY’S LIST . . . of beans ’n greens ’n other things:
DON’T TELL me I’ve nothing to do.
From the window of my barn I see Ozzie coming through the hedgerow from next door. I like Ozzie a lot, but I’m not sure he feels the same. Efforts to pet and feed over the years have been a flop at best.
What Ozzie likes to do is hunt. I mean really hunt.
You see, Ozzie is a brindle, bob-tailed, three-legged cat and he loves to feed on whatever he can find in the hedgerow across my back yard, including field mice and squirrels.
Ozzie is flat out deadly, too.
Since losing his right front leg to a tumor a couple of years back, he has taught himself a new way to hunt. He keeps stalking to a minimum. But with the patience of Job, he settles down and waits for a meal to come within striking distance.
When the meal does, it’s “Wham” and Ozzie heads for the dinner table.
He’s a wonder to watch ...
IT IS A typical day at the Smith Estate. I am out in my barn kicked back in what I call “Archie’s Recliner.” I am reading a book, listening to Merle Haggard on the stereo, and watching TV (how’s that for multi-tasking, huh?) The blonde is out and about.
The phone rings. It is from the blonde. She is at Sears in the Quintard Mall ...
“Sweetheart, I’m at Sears looking at vacuum cleaners. I can get a small one to go with a regular one. What do you think I should do?”
Recovering from the shock of her asking my permission for anything, I agree to the double dip and then make a mistake with “What’s going on, you asking my permission?”
From the other end, there is a happy laugh with:
“It’d be different if it were shoes and a dress.”
I managed a quiet goodbye (without choking), hung up, and went back to singing along with Merle. It seemed fitting he was in the middle of “I’m Gonna Sit Right Here And Drink” at the time.
JOE ESTEP deserves a standing ovation. Joe runs the Calhoun County Sports Hall of Fame and, this past Saturday night, put together another classic.
Held at the “new” Oxford Civic Center, the 2013 induction played to a near packed house.
Outstanding Joe, outstanding.
FOR THOSE asking, the Peach Man’s tomatoes are a week away, but Ken Easterling will be at Regions in Oxford on Friday morning at 6 with another load of Chilton County peaches.
If no sell-out in Oxford he heads for the Anniston post office along about 8 . . . but don’t bet he gets there.
IF YOU’RE lining up at the Walmart deli at Lenlock, I hope you get lucky and a young lady by the name of Vanesa Durham waits on you. She did for me a few days back and while I’ve had an unpleasant moment or two there, Vanesa left me feeling pretty good.
Walmart could use more like her.
BIRTHDAYS: June 12 – Annette Vice; June 14 – Sage Snow; June 15 – Twins Brettnie and Dakota Smith; June 17 – Aiden Lloyd; 11; June 18 – Don Beabout.
And Jeff Jones, June 17. A member of a vanishing breed (The Great Generation), Jeff drove a “weasel” jeep ashore at Normandy, June 6, 1944.
QUOTABLE: “My doctor tells me I should start slowing it down - but there are more old drunks than there are old doctors so let's all have another round.”
Thanks for visiting ...
George Smith may be reached at 256-239-5286 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.