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Last Updated: 04/30/2009 05:00PM • Subscribe via RSSATOM

Student Spotlight

04/30/2009 ● By Super Admin

It’s May and many high school seniors are ready to leave home in a few short months to make their mark in the world. This month we feature a few from the “cream of the crop” in our local schools. They are armed with fresh ideas, unsurpassed book-smarts, and enough professional ambition to fill the Grand Canyon.However, these students have more to offer than just good grades, they truly have the community in mind, and philanthropic goals are on their list to accomplish along with their degrees in various fields. So if you happen to be worried about the future of our society, let these students put your mind to rest.JENNA ZAVISLANWOODCREEK HIGH SCHOOLIn what capacity have you been, or are you currently active in community service, volunteerism, local causes and/or non-profit organizations?I volunteer a lot of my free time towards helping the music program at my school. Woodcreek has an awesome guitar program and I have been there the past four years helping with its development, fundraising; and tutoring younger students. This program is extremely close to me because as someone who has not had the opportunity to take private lessons to learn music, I have been able to grow as a musician and realize my own talent. Everyone deserves that chance.How do you feel that volunteerism not only improves and strengthens the community, but also its citizens? How has it affected you personally?Volunteerism is critical throughout the community, especially one as big as ours. By cooperating with our neighbors to improve the lives of others, it makes us all closer. I have noticed that reaching out to others, and not expecting anything back, has made me a happier person.What local charities/causes are close to your heart and why?Other than my school, the SPCA is another place that is important to me. I have a huge soft spot for animals, so I’m the person that walks into the pound and wants to take every cat and dog home with me! What global causes do, would, or have you championed?I think that we need to fight for music education, and this is a cause that I hope to work on in the future. Not only in this country, where music classes are gradually being phased out, but also in underdeveloped countries. Everyone deserves the opportunity to discover their talent, or a passion for music.In what ways do you feel like the community could be stronger, and why?The biggest change that I would like to see in our community is for people to start getting to know their neighbors. Maybe this seems like a small concept, but creating a network of support in your community can make a difference. There are people who will cook for you when you can’t take care of your family, people who can help you fix your car; and there is always someone willing to include you in a prayer.   What’s the one thing that not many people know about you?It’s kind of silly, but I love cheesy pop music. It gets me through the day when I can belt out my favorite Hannah Montana songs.To read more about other local seniors in our Student Spotlight, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style – Roseville Granite Bay Rocklin edition. Check out the Distribution tab on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email  info@sierrastyle.com, or call 916-988-9888.

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Reading Between the Lines

04/30/2009 ● By Super Admin

Given today’s high-stakes school performance standards, the push for academic excellence is stressful for most students. But for children with learning difficulties, their school days can be filled with especially daunting expectations.The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) reports close to three million children in America’s public schools receive some form of special education services to compensate for learning challenges. Learning disabilities commonly surface as a result of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. But learning disorders also occur in typically-developing children, where “hidden” signs are often more difficult to detect. Sadly, studies show one in four children with a learning disability eventually drops out of school.While there is no cure, new interventions are helping struggling students overcome hurdles once thought to be permanent. The key is identifying disabilities so students get the specific help they need to be effective learners, and successful adults.What Are Learning Disabilities?  As teachers know all too well, children learn in different ways. Some are visual learners who need to see a lesson to understand it. Others may be auditory learners who prefer lecture-based instruction. But for a child with a learning disability, it’s not a question of how his brain receives the data, but how it’s “wired” to store, process and communicate the information as well.When basic skills such as reading, writing, math computation or language development are impacted, a child’s academic progress suffers significantly. Looking to the cause of these disorders, doctors believe factors such as heredity, prenatal complications, childhood injuries, and toxic exposures make children prone to developmental disorders and future learning difficulties. For more on Identifying and Overcoming Early Education Obstacles, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style – Folsom, El Dorado Hills edition. Check out the Distribution tab on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email  info@sierrastyle.com, or call 916-988-9888.

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Style: Roseville Granite Bay Rocklin
Local Area Tidbits

04/30/2009 ● By Super Admin

Calling all Scrabble players, a Scrabble Face to Face board game group is scheduled to meet the first two Saturdays of the month at 3:30 p.m., beginning on May 2, at the Martha Riley Library in Roseville. Email dcscrabble@gmail.com to confirm meetings...Congratulations to Rubino’s Ristorante in Rocklin for celebrating their second anniversary on March 9. For restaurant hours visit rubinosrestaurant.com.On May 16, Just Your Style is hosting a Build Your Own Business job expo at the Maidu Community Center from 12- 5 p.m. For more information, call 916-548-4929.Students at Sierra Elementary School in Rocklin are one step closer to becoming a fully accredited International Baccalaureate school. It is the first elementary school to implement the IB program and the only IB Primary Years Programme candidate school in the greater Sacramento area.If you’re looking to ante up for a good cause head over to Legends and Heroes in Roseville on May 17, for the Nor Cal Heads Up Poker Championship benefiting the Tommy Apostolos Fund. To purchase tickets, visit firststepsportsmarketing.com.Congratulations to Joni Hilton of Roseville for winning first place in the King’s Hawaiian “Taste of Summer with King’s Hawaiian” competition for her entry of Pina Colada Bread Pudding.Roseville will hold its 18th Annual Senior Resource & Health Faire on May 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Maidu Community Center. This year’s theme Living Today for a Better Tomorrow will offer health screenings, information, and a fashion show. For more information, call 916-774-5960.Congratulations to DuFault’s Beauty Boutique on the grand opening of their Roseville location on April 16. Check out the new location at 8680 Sierra College Boulevard.Think pink and support the South Placer UCD Breast Cancer Endowment by attending the 3rd Annual Signe King Memorial Benefit on May 28, 6-10 p.m. at La Provence restaurant in Roseville. Enjoy live music, wine tasting and a silent auction. To reserve seats, call 916-501-9717.Experience Sunset Magazine’s signature event with Roseville Parks and Recreation on June 7, in Menlo Park. The Sunset Celebration features music, cooking demos and much more. The deadline to register is May 15. For more information, call 916-774-5505.The Auburn Winery Trail is now open! Every Saturday and Sunday from 12-4 p.m., explore the area’s finest wines. For more information and a map, visit auburnwinerytrail.com.Seventh and Eighth grade students at Maria Montessori Charter Academy in Roseville have become the very first K-8 school in the United States to be certified for Teen CERT Disaster Response. CERT educates students on how to be first responders in the event of a school disaster.Join Roseville Parks and Recreation and The Senior Connection for their free What Do I Do With All This Paper seminar at the Maidu Community Center on May 19, at 9:30 a.m. To register, call 916-334-1072.There’s a new yoga studio in town – Purple Moon Hot Yoga just opened their doors at 1251 Baseline, Suite 170, in Roseville. For schedule information, visit purplemoonhotyoga.com or call 916-774-1112.After yoga, take part in the Fourth Annual Great Roseville Clean-up on May 16. The City of Roseville and Citizens Involved Means Better Living (CIMBL) team up to de-litter the Downtown and Historic Old Town districts. To get involved, call 916-774-5569.That’s all for now, but be sure to check back next month for our annual Summer Fun feature issue! Send your news to: info@sierrastyle.com.

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Carmel-by-the-Sea

04/30/2009 ● By Super Admin

The name “Carmel-by-the-Sea” conjures up visions of storybook cottages with fragrant flowers, cozy cafes and beguiling back street bistros. Carmel’s a great walking town, so book your room in the heart of town and begin to explore on foot beneath a canopy of majestic Monterey pines and giant cypresses that rustle in the breeze. You may begin to wonder why most houses in the square-mile village are named, not numbered. Many years ago, Carmel’s founding fathers of Bohemians and artists decided to ban home delivery of mail because they thought having numbers on their houses was a sign of being “citified.” The tradition continues today as neighbors gather at the post office to gossip and pick up their mail.For an early morning coffee and a decadent pastry, stop in at Carmel Valley Coffee Roasting Company on Ocean Avenue to chat with the locals and other visitors. Stroll past the high-end shops of Ocean Avenue to where it ends at Carmel Beach, an enchanting crescent of silky white sands set off by the sparkling blue waters of the bay. Ringed with bluffs and showpiece homes, it is one of the few beaches where dogs are allowed to run without a leash.When you return from a brisk sunset walk on chilly days, a crackling hearth awaits you at one of many dog-friendly inns and restaurants. (My current favorite is the historic La Playa Hotel and Cottages, just two blocks from the sea.)On the quiet streets that surround Ocean Avenue are art studios, galleries and antique stores tucked away in secluded courtyard gardens. The small Cima Collina Art Gallery also has a tasting bar of handcrafted local wines. Be sure to include a visit to the Carmel Art Association’s gallery, a cooperative that exhibits and sells affordable pieces by local contemporary artists. In the evening, a walk through the town’s quaint residential neighborhoods (no sidewalks and few streetlights) leads to one of Carmel’s wonderful theaters. The Pacific Repertory Theatre has everything from Shakespearean drama to Tony Award-winning musicals and plays. In the summer, the intimate Sunset Center hosts the Carmel Bach Festival, as well as jazz greats and contemporary pop performers. At the Forest Theater you’ll find films and live productions, often accompanied by picnics in the summer. At the south edge of the village, Carmel Mission Basilica still stands beside Father Serra’s burial spot and hosts regular Catholic masses.On Fridays and Saturdays there are docent tours of Tor House, poet Robinson Jeffers’ stone home. The poet lovingly hand-gathered the stones from nearby Carmel Beach. You’ll need your car again to visit two other special places nearby. The entrance to the winding 17-Mile Drive begins at the bottom of Ocean Avenue. Synonymous with golf and gorgeous scenery, it wanders north through Pebble Beach. For a hike and a close-up view of otters and other sea life, Point Lobos is just two miles south of the village on Highway One. A jewel of California’s coast, Carmel is a great get-away for kids big and small.

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A Fitness Fairytale

04/30/2009 ● By Super Admin

In October of 2008, Karla Read was overweight. She talked to a friend whom was accomplishing a fitness goal – they talked about eating well and going to the gym on a regular basis. Read found it intimidating. “I had the idea that it was all just too much! It is so intimidating before you start your fitness regimen,” Read confides.Read works as a research scientist part-time. The balance of her days is filled with her two babies who are about 21 months apart, which was quite a trial for her body. The weight was on, and it seemed like that was where it was going to stay. She even got rid of her “thin” wardrobe and resolved to stay in her bigger sizes.Then she encountered Maureen Evanoff at the Broadstone Racquet Club and her boot camp program. Evanoff provided the motivation and the organization that she needed. She showed Read that it did not have to be intimidating. She organized Read’s fitness regimen with recommended diet, an eating journal and a solid exercise plan. And it worked. Since October, Read has dropped 30 pounds!“It is not just the weight-loss,” she emphasizes, “it is the fantastic motivation and how great you feel about yourself. The weight-loss is a huge part of it, but it is much more than that. It is a huge obstacle that you are overcoming.” And Read has truly overcome that seemingly impossible task! “I am kind of sorry that I got rid of all the skinny clothes, but it gives me an excuse for a new wardrobe!” Read has achieved her initial goal of losing the 30 pounds, but she is still working hard to streamline and to improve muscle tone. “Now I have to get ready for bikini season. I really never thought I would wear a bikini again!” Read still sounds giddy about her health transformation. “Before you start, losing the weight seems like an absolutely impossible task. Then you start, and a little goes away and you think, ‘Wow! Maybe I can do this!’ Evanoff has been a huge inspiration and has provided the motivation to stay on track.”It is obvious, however, that it is not just Evanoff who did this – Read has an incredibly positive and upbeat personality, and you can tell that she is not one to let things stand in her way! Her accomplishment, however, still surprises her a little.“If I have learned one thing about getting in better shape, I would have to say it is that it’s possible. At first, it just seemed like a totally unattainable goal. No matter who else does it, for yourself, it just seems completely out of reach. For me, a lot of the change happened when I signed up for the boot camp. Once the weight started coming off and the muscles started to grow, it just sort of snowballed!”

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In the Pantry

04/30/2009 ● By Super Admin

Fresh Corn Salsaby Kathy Sabbagh1 cup fresh corn (2-3 ears), lightly cooked1 ripe papaya, seeded and diced1/3 cup red onion, diced2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced1 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced1 tbsp. grated (zest) lime1/4 cup fresh lime juice1/2 cup cilantroMix all ingredients except cilantro and chill for two hours. Add 1/2 cup cilantro just before serving.Chicken Breasts Arrabbiataby Lynn Machon1 tbsp. olive oil1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves1/4 cup pepperoncini, seeded, rinsed and chopped1 cup red bell peppers, chopped3 garlic cloves, crushed (or 2 tbsp. garlic powder)1/2 tsp. dried basil, crumbled1/2 tsp. sugar1/2 tsp. pepper1/4 tsp. salt1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes1 can diced tomatoes1 cup chicken broth1 tsp. tomato paste1/4 cup Vermouth1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce Instant RiceShredded Mozzarella cheeseIn large skillet, cook chicken breasts until just done. Remove from skillet and keep warm. In same skillet, warm oil over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, onions, pepperoncini, garlic, basil, sugar, pepper, salt and red pepper, and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, Vermouth and Worcestershire; sauté for 2-3 minutes longer.  *If you want to make a meal of it, add one-and-a-half cups of instant white (or brown rice) and one-half cup of shredded mozzarella cheese after tomatoes are boiling. Reduce heat and cover, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add chicken to the tomato mixture and simmer together until ready to serve. Spoon sauce over chicken to serve. Serves four.If you have a great recipe for an appetizer, entree or drink that you’d like to share with the community, please email it toinfo@sierrastyle.com for inclusion in an upcoming issue!

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Perfect Practice

04/30/2009 ● By Super Admin

A player is hitting the ball extremely well on the driving range. He or she is feeling good and starting to think, “Today I am going to have a great round.” The moment of truth comes; they must now tee it up on the first hole and the “little demons” begin to creep in. The grip gets tighter, the negative thoughts embed themselves and the speed of the player's swing is increased threefold, while their shoulder turn has been reduced by 2-4 inches. Now, some people believe in the “golf gods,” and that if you make them mad, they will punish you while on the course. But I think it is simpler than that. First and foremost, you must learn how to practice. Ask any PGA Professional what two things most students want from their lessons and they will tell you students respond with, “More distance and more consistency.” Although neither of these are bad things to desire, if they are not put into perspective, the end result is consistent, long ball hitters who are not very good otherwise.  If you get to the range as well as the golf course on a regular basis, then your practice may be slightly different than that of the player who plays in two scramble tournaments a year. Either way, you need to learn how to practice in order to better your game. Start with a seven iron to warm up. Once you feel loose, and are hitting the ball solid, drop back down to a sand wedge or pitching wedge. Most players start with their wedge, and can’t wait to get to their driver. They make a few fast bad swings with their wedge (but get the ball in the air), then they make a few more really quick swings with their seven iron, then maybe one or two swings with their five iron (harder club to hit), and the “Ego” won’t let them continue to embarrass themselves, so all of a sudden they have the Big-Stick in their hands firing away like someone is trying to steal their range balls.  Go to the “practice” range with a purpose. Work on your weaknesses, not your strengths, and give yourself time to practice. Lessons are a great way to improve, but if you don’t follow lessons up with practice, you are defeating the purpose. You want lessons to improve, but the majority of improvement will come from practicing and playing. If you learn to practice correctly, then you will feel confident and much more relaxed when you get to the first tee. My old college wrestling coach used to say, “It is not practice makes perfect, it is perfect practice that makes perfect.” However, we all know that golf is not a game about perfection, but one that if we can minimize the mistakes, our scores will get lower. I stress the following to a majority of my students: Dr. Glenn Albaugh, a leading sports psychologist taught me a few years back that, “when you are on the range, you are working on mechanics and there is no target, however, when you are on the course there is a target and no mechanics.” This means is that if you are practicing correctly, when you get to the game, trust what you have been doing and focus on a target...not mechanics.  Lastly, be happy to be playing golf. The next time you go out to play, try to be there at least a half hour prior to your tee time, so that you can get in a proper warm-up.  You have put in your time on the range, and now you get to go out and enjoy the fruits of your labor.  On your first tee, forget about the negative, and focus on having a great time. Try to play stress free; breath and relax. Your goal on the first hole is to hit the fairway...it does not matter how far. While you were on the range, you were focused on the process and your swing thoughts, not the end result. Now, take that same attitude to the first tee and maintain it as you make your way around the course. This way, it will not feel any different from when you were striking it on the range. The goal is to settle down early in the round and enjoy yourself...your scores will get lower. In the end, your scores will also be more consistent due to your practice, and practice will be more fun as you improve. Jerry Poley is Director of Golf at Catta Verdera Country Club. He can be reached at 916-645-6723 or jpoley@cattaverdera.com.

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Style: Roseville Granite Bay Rocklin
Local Area Tidbits

04/30/2009 ● By Super Admin

Would you like to learn how to train a zoo animal? If so, join the Folsom Zoo on May 23, for their Exclusive Zookeeper Day. Start with a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo,  exercise the animals, and much more. For more information, call 916-351-3513...In spa news, the Acupuncture & Wellness Center of El Dorado Hills joined with Energetic Care to open a Yoga/Pilates and Wellness Studio in the Quail Commerce Center, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.energeticcare.com">energeticcare.com</a> or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.edhacupuncture.com">edhacupuncture.com</a>...The El Dorado Hills Senior Center will hold a Brain Gain Workshop through May 21, 9:30 to 11 a.m.; learn memory enhancing techniques! To register, call 916-933-6624...Congratulations to Folsom’s Marsha Warner, a Top 4 finalist in Rachael Ray’s March Menu Mania Competition for her Buffalo Chicken Pizza Bites. To get recipe, visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.usatoday.com/life/rachael-ray-contest.htm">usatoday.com/life/rachael-ray-contest.htm</a>...Join the eWomenNetwork for their Accelerated Networking Luncheon on May 21, at the Lake Natoma Inn, 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. For more information, visit events.ewomennetwork.com and click on Folsom...On March 12, the California Park and Recreation Society presented the El Dorado Hills Community Services Department with the Award of Excellence for their communications and outreach efforts...More kudos to wrestler Keaton Subjeck for winning the 124-pound weight class at the Junior High State Championships held at Fresno City College. He is the first wrestler from the El Dorado Hills Wrestling Club to win a state title!...Don’t miss “Celebrating Folsom’s Bridge History” at the Folsom History Museum through May 10. For times, visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.folsomhistorymuseum.org">folsomhistorymuseum.org</a>...Congratulations to Darioush Mackani from Natoma Station Elementary and Austin Lillywhite from Folsom High School for taking state level winner titles at the National PTA Reflections Program. For more information visit capta.org...The Back Wine Bar in Folsom will celebrate their one-year anniversary May 5-9, by offering amazing wine for $5 a glass, food specials and raffle prizes…RE/MAX will join the Folsom Yard Sale on May 2, and donate all proceeds to the Folsom Zoo. The yard sale takes place at Lembi Park at 7 a.m...New Star Theatre recently opened their doors in Folsom offering musical theater for kids. See their upcoming performance, Curtain Up, May 9 & May 15-17. For more information and showtimes, visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.newstarchildrenstheatre.com">newstarchildrenstheatre.com</a>... On April 18, Dimple Records stores celebrated Record Store Day with give-aways and live music, and donated one-third of all sponsor dollars to the Sacramento nonprofit, Diogenes Youth Services. For more information about Diogenes, please call 916-223-6779…May is Museum Month at the Folsom History Museum; they will offer half-off Sundays and free admission on Memorial Day. For more information, visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.folsomhistorymuseum.org">folsomhistorymuseum.org</a>...Zuda Yoga Center recently opened a new Folsom location, and they made history by practicing yoga on the White House Lawn as part of the annual Easter Egg Roll event themed “Let’s Go Play.” This was the first time that lawn saw yoga! Find Zuda at 220 Blue Ravine Road or at zudayoga.com...That’s all for now, but be sure to check back next month for our annual Summer Fun feature issue!<hr>Send your news to: <a href="mailto:info@sierrastyle.com">info@sierrastyle.com</a>.

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Student Spotlight

04/30/2009 ● By Super Admin

It’s May and many high school seniors are ready to leave home in a few short months to make their mark in the world. This month we feature a few from the “cream of the crop” in our local schools. They are armed with fresh ideas, unsurpassed book-smarts, and enough professional ambition to fill the Grand Canyon.However, these students have more to offer than just good grades, they truly have the community in mind, and philanthropic goals are on their list to accomplish along with their degrees in various fields. So if you happen to be worried about the future of our society, let these students put your mind to rest.TIM CHAEOAK RIDGE HIGH SCHOOLIn what capacity have you been, or are you currently active in community service, volunteerism, local causes and/or non-profit organizations? I’ve been involved with Amor Ministries and YWAM (Youth With A Mission) organizations for over three years. I traveled to Tecate and Tijuana, Mexico with my youth group at Rolling Hills Christian Church to build houses for the poor. More recently I volunteered with YWAM and visited New Orleans, where we gutted Katrina-struck houses and assisted in homeless ministry. How do you feel that volunteerism not only improves and strengthens the community, but also its citizens? How has it affected you personally?I’m a strong believer that the dedication and hard work of a few can wholly benefit the community and its citizens. When you see community members, your neighbors, friends, family and peers getting involved in volunteer service and bettering the community, it just makes you want to be a part of it.I feel my involvement in community service has been the main catalyst in transforming me into who I am today, and who I will be in years ahead. It has helped me realize my blessings and how fortunate I am on a daily basis. “You can have everything you want in the world, if you just help out enough people get what they want in the world.” –Zig ZiglarWhat charities/causes are close to your heart and why?I strongly admire the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization, and the peer-counseling group at Oak Ridge High School. They both serve the purpose of “driving for a better tomorrow,” and I think that’s key in being a member of a community. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I model my business career and missions after Andrew Carnegie. He was a man who kept the welfare of the community in mind. What’s one thing that not many people know about you?I have a binder full of my goals and the steps I will take to achieve every single one of them. It includes things like making the “Top 25 Under 25 Entrepreneurs” list in Newsweek while in college, and even appearing on TIME as the “Man of the Year.” Tim’s Post-High-School Plan: Attend Babson College near Boston, MA to pursue a career as an entrepreneur.<hr>To read more about other local seniors in our Student Spotlight, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style – Folsom, El Dorado Hills edition. Check out the Distribution tab on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email  info@sierrastyle.com, or call 916-988-9888.

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The Jumps

04/30/2009 ● By Super Admin

“The jumps!” I cannot overstate how important those two words have been to my boys and their neighborhood buddies. The question, “Dad, can we go down to the jumps?” was always asked with such a breathless excitement that bordered on hyperventilation. I often said “yes,” partly out of fear that a “no” would cause them to black out.The jumps were a series of...well, dirt bicycle jumps dug out of a vacant lot behind our housing development. There were ramps, bumps, grooved turns, small dips and some outright craters. It looked as if a giant mutant mole passed through, followed by a backhoe, making it all the more impressive to realize that it was created entirely with shovels wielded by kids who would otherwise find it difficult to put their dishes away.  The lot of jumps was a wide, open space, bristling with wild grass and star thistle that an occasional jackrabbit will still startle up from. One edge of the lot is lined with a narrow grove of oaks and through them dawdles a small, lethargic creek that is home to frogs, ducks and beavers. It is far from being a wild land though – homes peer down from a small ridge above the trees. An office complex sprouts from another low hillside. And the back of the lot is bordered by railroad tracks where, sometimes, a rumbling locomotive would let out a blast on its horn, further validating to the boys that the jumps were in fact a good place to be.  And they were. The jumps represented a relic of something now nearly extinct in much of Suburbia: unstructured, unsupervised play. There was no entry fee, no waiver to sign and no time limit for how long they could stay  (provided that all their homework was done). The only rules were those the visitors made themselves. There were no coaches at the jumps, no team to make, nobody to impress other than each other. Occasionally we parents wandered down to watch, and unable to help ourselves we dispensed the usual admonishments of “be careful” and “slow down.” But the words carried less authority and conviction than at home, because really, the jumps were not our place. The jumps belonged to them.   Ah, but recently a bulldozer came in and flattened down the jumps. I’m sure it was the landowner, understandably worried about liability in an age when a restaurant can get sued for serving a hot cup of coffee. I don’t know who owns the land but it doesn’t matter. The day the jumps were laid low, every kid in our neighborhood wore a look like someone had just licked all the red off their sucker.There’s talk about building the jumps back up again and I haven’t discouraged it. Places like the jumps are more than just where kids can go to show off to one another; they are places to learn that Mom and Dad don’t always have to be there to set the rules, settle a disagreement or pick them up after a fall. As a result, our kids possibly start developing a sense of independence, or self-reliance. Our kids can be tough, if we let them be. In fact, while lawyers and other killjoys will probably disagree, I hope the kids do build the jumps back up again. I hope before long they’re back out in the fresh air, pedaling like crazy through that empty expanse toward ramps that send them soaring. Maybe I shouldn’t because I’m the adult and I should know better. But I think the world needs places like the jumps, where a kid can still have some good free fun. Besides, perseverance is another good thing to learn, so where better to learn, than a place like the jumps?Catch Tom on the Pat and Tom Morning Show on New Country 105.1.

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