After the horrific shootings at a Florida high school earlier this year, a hue and cry arose demanding that public schools in Santa Fe be made as safe as possible.Possible improvements to security in public schools included the hiring of armed guards — something that likely is too expensive for a district already facing a $1.6 million budget squeeze. Last week, Superintendent Veronica García said the district probably can’t afford to hire guards, and the city of Santa Fe has said it doesn’t have the resources right now to place armed police officers on campus.Adding armed guards, to be honest, never was our favorite solution. Even if help from the city had emerged, the district likely would have been able to hire only three armed guards or officers. Two would have assigned to the high schools, with the third rotating at middle schools; considering the layout of our schools, such limited staffing did not seem to be enough coverage to actually make a difference. It … [Read more...] about A community goal: Keep kids safe
My childhood was just before the advent of the safety revolution, at a time when the squared, metal jungle gym was a standard site on any American playground. Remember this thing? Your kids probably don't. I vividly recall the zip line at Lake Independence, which hurtled you through the middle of the playground and sent you flying -- "splat" -- into a cargo net. (Of course, I also recall a friend doing a pull-up while on the ride and needing stitches after he lifted his head into the metal line.) And while not a public park, I fondly remember the fun house at Arnolds Park at Lake Okoboji in Iowa. If you didn't leave there bleeding, you weren't trying. God help you if you fell while walking through the rotating barrel at the fun house. I swear the thing was made of concrete! So I read with interest Monday's New York Times piece on whether playground safety has gone too far. Some experts believe children are being harmed by the absence of danger. A recent … [Read more...] about Do safe playgrounds turn risk-free kids into nervous adults?
An in-home child care provider and an advocate for the child care center industry joined a Minnesota lawmaker Wednesday in supporting changes in infant safe sleep standards for children in care. Specifically, they told the House Health and Human Services Policy committee that they support a change requiring a doctor's note from a parent before a child care provider deviates from the required practice of putting infants to sleep on their backs and in cribs. Currently, providers only need written authorization from parents to do that, despite the wealth of research showing that sleep-related deaths are more common when infants are placed on their stomachs. "This takes the responsibility off of the provider when the parent asks the provider to have their infant sleep in an alternate position," said Lynn Barten, a family child care provider in Alexandria, Minn. "It forces the conversation back to the parent and the doctor." While she feels putting … [Read more...] about Tougher child care, safe sleep requirements reach House committee
A new Gallup survey shows people feel safer in the Twin Cities than any other major metropolitan area in the country. Eighty percent of Minneapolis-St. Paul residents polled said they feel safe walking around at night. That is two percentage points higher than Denver and Raleigh, N.C., which both clocked in at 78 percent. The results are part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which is derived from interviews with 500 people every day in 2012. The average level of perceived safety in major cities was 72 percent. "Minneapolis-St. Paul area residents have the highest sense of personal security among Americans living in the nation's top metro areas, at least in terms of feeling safe walking alone at night in their local area," Gallup said in a statement. "While the rank order of the top 50 on this measure may differ somewhat from other rankings of city safety, it nevertheless offers an important perspective on one aspect of how crime affects people's lives." Gallup said that 2010 … [Read more...] about Survey: Twin Cities residents feel safer
Bob Cooper Published 1:22 pm, Friday, August 23, 2013 Your rock-climbing experience may be limited to that time you reassured your kid, who was frozen with fear halfway up a portable climbing wall, that he wouldn't fall. (Never mind that you wouldn't trade places for 50 bucks.) That's OK, because armchair climbers far outnumber true climbers, and if it wasn't for us, who's going to turn rock-climbing tales into bestsellers or go "ooh!" while watching ant-size climbers crawl up Yosemite cliffs? Here's where you can rock out - at least vicariously. 1. Dogpatch Boulders, San Francisco Bouldering is the hot trend in indoor climbing and this is America's largest boulders-only gym, with hundreds of "problems" to solve on artificial boulders that stand 12 to 17 feet high. More than 10,000 "holds" adorn the boulders inside the 14,000-square-foot gym. This is climbing without ropes - but if you fall, it's onto soft, 14-inch-thick mats that will bruise only your ego. There are … [Read more...] about 5 places where climbing is a way to feel alive