CATEGORY . environmental news, views, and issues about loudoun county, virginia and beyond : TEXT See ARTICLE

CATEGORY . The First Lady Champions Wellness and Nutrition : Last week, The White House harvested its first crop yield from the organic garden First Lady Michelle Obama established on the South Lawn not long after moving to Washington. Surrounded by participating elementary school children, Obama spoke about her pride in the project, and the immense value of the lessons learned. “We can continue to make the connection between what we eat and how we feel, and how healthy we are,” she said, before encouraging the children to continue to be her “little ambassadors” in their schools and communities. [Healthy Child-Healthy world] See ARTICLE

CATEGORY . Childrens Outdoor Bill of Rights : TEXT See ARTICLE

CATEGORY . Kansas Recreation and Park Association 2008 State Report : Strategic Plan – KRPA launched its five-year Strategic Master Plan after introducing it at the 2008 KRPA Conference and Trade Show in January. The Strategic Plan includes a new vision statement for the Association and seven goals intended to provide a renewed emphasis on the benefits of being a Vision and Mission-Driven Association. Among the initial products of the Strategic Plan was a day-long leadership orientation workshop exclusively for the board of directors in February. In addition, each board member was assigned the responsibility of reviewing his/her board position job description and making needed updates to the listed responsibilities. Also, all board meeting agenda items are now linked to a specific strategy of the plan. State Conference Celebrates 60th Anniversary – The Association kicked-off the start of its 60th year of existence with a special celebration at the 2008 KRPA Conference and Trade Show in Wichita last January. Former presidents and award winners were special guests for an anniversary dinner that initiated the conference. For the first time in conference history, attendance exceeded the 500 mark and registration revenue surpassed the $100,000 level. Fran P. Mainella, former director of the National Park Service, served as the keynote speaker. Membership – KRPA membership, including all categories of individual members, has reached an all-time high of 938. As a comparison, membership in the association a decade ago was 690. Individual membership first surpassed the 900 plateau in 2006. Agency membership has also reached a record level as 83 communities are now represented. There were 61 agency members in KRPA in 2000. The organization also continues to attract student involvement. Currently, there are 65 students who belong to KRPA. Education – KRPA continued to emphasize educational opportunities for its members with a goal of hosting a minimum of 12 workshops throughout the year. The Association staged traditional events such as its three-day professional development institute – Tomorrow’s Leaders – along with hosting AFO and NPSI course seminars, and workshops that focused on recreation commission budget preparation, sports and general topics of interest to the recreation, park and natural resource branch members and Kansas Park Law Enforcement Branch. Partnerships – KRPA partnered with both the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP), along with several other state advocacy groups, in developing two new education and advocacy initiatives that enhanced community awareness of obesity and wellness issues. KRPA and KDHE co-hosted a series of four regional health summit events and health fairs during the summer in Kansas City, Hays, Garden City and Pittsburg. The four events were staged on campus sites in each community and involved a wide-range of health advocates in the area. KRPA also is serving as a co-host with both KDHE and KDWP for a two-day state-wide special event – Kansas Health Summit: Built Environment and the Outdoors – in Wichita which will feature a presentation by author Richard Louv...... ... Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights – In partnership with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, KRPA is in the process of rolling out a Children’s Bill of Rights’ awareness campaign throughout the state of Kansas. Modeled after a similar initiative developed in California, the program is designed to promote opportunities for young people to explore nature and give guidance to parents who want to encourage their children to spend more time outdoors. See ARTICLE

CATEGORY . FS Today for November 28, 2008 : Region 5 – Pacific Southwest Region Children Outdoors — Building Bridges Julio Bermejo, Assistant Public Affairs Officer, Angeles National Forest As part of the California Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights initiative, the Forest Service joined the National Park Service, Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and others to host “Children Outdoors!,” a day of outdoor activities for kids on Oct. 11, 2008, at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale, Calif. See ARTICLE


CATEGORY . Immigration fraud is an embedding tactic of terrorists. Don't take my word for it, check out what the 9/11 Commission had to say about immigration fraud. An extensive report was prepared by staff members of the 911 Commission that was entitled, “The 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel. You can find the entire report online. ...."..... A nation's primary responsibility is to provide for the safety and security of its citizens and yet, for reasons I cannot begin to fathom, the Members of the Senate who voted for S. 2611 are seemingly oblivious to the lessons that the disastrous amnesty of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, or IRCA, should have taught us. That piece of legislation led to the greatest influx of illegal aliens in the history of our Nation. ....Fraud and a lack of integrity of the immigration system not only flooded our Nation with illegal aliens who ran our borders, hoping that what had been billed as a one-time amnesty would be repeated, but it also enabled a number of terrorists and many criminals to enter the United States and then embed themselves in our country. .....Today the administration is gearing up to revive Comprehensive Immigration Reform yet again. Senator Chuck Schumer has stated that he believes that since the border is now secure, it is time to enact Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Here is my response to this madness. First of all, the border is anything but secure. Second, and even more importantly, fraud is still a huge issue for the entire immigration benefits program. Consider how the corrupt law firm operated as noted in this quote from the article: Supporting documents said to have been notarized in India or Romania turned out to be counterfeit, with some created on a computer in Sacramento, the government said. If USCIS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is unable to address the issue of massive levels of fraud in its day to day operations today, what would happen to that beleaguered agency if suddenly they had to cope with an additional ten million, twenty million or even thirty million amnesty applications that would be dumped on the desks of the overworked bureaucrats at that agency? Consider how easy it is to create bogus supporting documents. ....what would prevent a terrorist or criminal from providing false supporting documents that created an entirely new identity for him and provided "proof" that he (she) had been residing in the United States for many years even if he had entered the United States only days earlier? .... : TEXT See ARTICLE

CATEGORY . When "Gods" Die : Watching a star fade is a lot like witnessing a terrible hangover or someone undergoing detox. It isn’t pretty – but then, ugly sells tabloids and TV shows, doesn’t it? So the market for shameless behavior and self-destruction is huge. The fact that a large segment of our society would find entertainment value in depravity, suffering and death only signifies how near the end we are as a nation. After all, what’s worse: being eaten alive in the coliseum by lions or being devoured day after day by the media and the masses? At least, with the lions, it’s all over in a few terrifying moments. ....It must be excruciating to descend from the mountaintop of celebrity worship and adoration into the cruel and crowded streets of apathy and indifference to finish living a once glorious life as a has-been, or worse, a laughingstock. And, the younger you are, the longer that terrible torment and withdrawal must be endured – which probably explains why so many child stars have self-destructed over the years trying to regain what they lost. See ARTICLE