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January 24, 2012

SeaWorld makes me sign away my teen's life


Last night I had to sign a form saying I accept that my daughter may die during her upcoming youth group trip to SeaWorld.

Here's what the form said: "There is a chance your child may be seriously injured or killed by participating in this activity because there are certain dangers inherent in the activity which cannot be avoided or eliminated. By signing this form you are giving up your child's right and your right to recover from the released parties in a lawsuit for any personal injury, including death, to your child or any property damage that results from the risks that are a natural part of the activity."

The activity is a sleepover near the beluga whale tank. Are they expecting the whales to escape and attack?

I have had to sign similar field-trip forms before, but this one seemed especially blunt. A 2008 Florida Supreme Court decision says parents can't waive liability on these trips, but still we must sign these forms if we want our kids to go. Fortunately judges seem to understand that a parent does not send her child to SeaWorld in the expectation that she may never see her again.

Photo: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel


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January 17, 2012

Organic milk shortage: What milk should I buy now?


Have you noticed the little signs in the organic milk section of Publix that apologize for the empty shelves?

A national organic milk shortage has hit us here in Florida. According to the New York Times, organic milk farmers' costs are going up and they are decreasing the amount of milk they produce, thus creating not only empty shelves but higher prices.

I had been alternating buying organic milk with Publix's brand milk since Publix stopped buying from suppliers who injected their cows with hormones in 2007. I figure Publix's milk is almost organic now. Now I guess I won't have that choice anymore, unless I want to pay exorbitant prices.

Photo: AP/Pat Wellenbach

POSTED IN: Lois Solomon (211)

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January 10, 2012

Yoga injuries: An unwelcome trend

What a cliche: I hurt myself in yoga class.

I visited a new class and the teacher had us doing up-dogs into down-dogs into up-dogs for several minutes, encouraging us to roll over our toes. I was able to do this for the first time, but I paid the price, with excruciating back pain that lasted about a week.

Now I see that getting injured is more common than I realized. A new book by a New York Times reporter, William J. Broad, is summarized in this article with a great title: "How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body."

So many people invite injury by doing the poses wrong, and teachers don't correct them. And since most of us are sitting at a desk all day, our bodies are not primed for the extreme angles of many of the poses, such as headstand and shoulderstand.

In a class I took a few days ago, the teacher said she was becoming more aware of yoga injuries and urged us not to push ourselves. The problem, though, is that you often don't know you're hurt until the class is over.

Photo: Karen Tapia-Anderson, LA Times

POSTED IN: Lois Solomon (211)

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January 9, 2012

Jay-Z makes mad love song for baby Blue Ivy Carter

Word on the web is that new papa Jay-Z wrote this little ditty for his daughter Blue Ivy Carter.

He references a miscarriage Beyonce had and that their daughter was conceived in the City of Lights.

It's a sweet rap but doesn't top Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely."

POSTED IN: Joy Oglesby (134)

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January 4, 2012

Two-week winter break is too long

My three teenagers are loving this two-week-long winter break, which in Palm Beach County is actually two weeks and two days. They get to sleep late and hang out at home most of the day.

I, however, like to see them busier and more productive. So I can't wait until this second week of break is over.

Many school systems around the country end right before Christmas and come back right after New Year's Day. But in Palm Beach and Broward counties, the break lasts two full weeks, although Broward schools started again on Monday after the last day of Dec. 16.

The long vacation is hard on working parents, who have to find child care, and for stay at home parents, who have to keep the kids busy during a time when friends are out of town and lots of places are closed. Kids also start to forget what they learned the longer the break is. I vote for a shorter vacation the next time our school boards design their calendars.

POSTED IN: Lois Solomon (211)

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About the authors
Gretchen Day-Bryant has a son in high school and a daughter in middle school. She’s lived to tell about the struggles of juggling little kids and work.
Joy Oglesby has a preschooler...
Cindy Kent Fort Lauderdale mother of three. Her kids span in ages from teenager to 20s.
Rafael Olmeda and his wife welcomed their first son in Feb. 2009, and he's helping raise two teenage stepdaughters.
Lois Solomonlives with her husband and three daughters.
Georgia East is the parent of a five-year-old girl, who came into the world weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces.
Brittany Wallman is the mother of Creed, 15, and Lily, 7, and is married to a journalist, Bob Norman. She covers Broward County government, which is filled with almost as much drama as the Norman household. Almost.
Chris Tiedje is the Social Media Coordinator and the father of a 7-year-old girl, and two boys ages 4 and 3.
Kyara Lomer Camarena has a 2-year-old son, Copelan, and a brand new baby.

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